At Art House America, Mary Van Denend writes about Summer Lake in Oregon – and, more importantly, on what a trip to the wilderness does for us:
The weekend before Summer Lake, I was up in Seattle visiting my oldest sister and enjoying a solo literary getaway, attending a wonderful reading and reception for poet Scott Cairns, sponsored by Image. I wore my favorite little black dress and new snappy green sandals. While there, I ate in two fashionable restaurants, and I rode the Amtrak Cascades coming and going. I thoroughly enjoyed my Big City romp, living as I do in a small, quaint college town of 55,000. But Summer Lake offers me something neither of those places ever can — the expanse of wilderness. Every day we surround ourselves with manmade structures and agendas and priorities set by us, the human beings. When you venture into those wetlands you are reminded again that an entire world happens out there without you, every day, every season of the year. Staggering, beautiful, abundant life. The peace of wild things.