Monday, April 07, 2008

The Way to Start the Day

Like many of us, I imagine the night before, tomorrow's cup of coffee at the java joint, and the subsequent peaceful immersion into the morning paper. The anticipation itself provides solace until the actual moment. Then there is usually something disturbing that transforms tranquillity into tumult. It could be as little as grating voices from an adjacent table, an annoying cellphone call, or an irritating story. This morning it was amazingly peaceful. I managed to wend my way through the predictable paltry politics, the Wall Street whining, and the credit crisis crunch, and found a lovely article on Archeology in Oregon.

It was about sandals. Evidently in 1938 an archaeologist, while digging in a cave near Paisley, Oregon found more than 70 pairs of sandals crafted by warp and weft from sagebrush. They were estimated to be 10,000 years old, making them close to the oldest known artifacts in America, similar to those found of the Clovis people in New Mexico. This week, new carbon dating indicates that extracted human DNA is at least 14,300 years old, making the Paisley, Oregon, cave the oldest known human community on our continent.

During my peaceful moment, I was reminded again of my enjoyment in being an Oregonian. My mind wandered through time and space, and I saw those ruddy people living amidst the amazing vistas of our state eking out their existence. Like them, I was a member of a long chain of appreciative residents. Soon I would be leaving for work. My sandals would take me to the office. There I would be, tucked against the majestic Columbia River, flowing, as it did in past days, down to the sea.

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