A dry well

Light & Salt

By Evelyn King

This is the 34th time in 18 months I have sat to write something I think others will find worth reading - something meaty enough to chew on for a while, something with a challenging thought that holds up facts I have gathered from the world around me.

I never in my dreams ever saw myself as a writer of a newspaper column however much I am now enjoying the challenge. I never thought about the ease or difficulties of doing so. Sometimes I have read columns by people who have been at it for years and wondered at their current ramblings that seem little more than space fillers.

Now I have hit that spot. I seem to be a dry well. Little that is new is bubbling up to water the ideas that float in my head. Fortunately, I am now blessed with a wealth of resources not open to me eight months ago. Since our son opened King Range Books in Garberville I have been privy to hundreds of new authors and ideas, and my desk is stacked with their wealth. I am reading voraciously, not just to fill that well but for the sheer pleasure of it.

In the meantime, I thought I would write one of those ramblings to clue you in a bit more about my history. My husband and I found the Lost Coast back in 1981 and with our two very young children purchased land with a mobile home near Thorn Junction.

It became our home away from home as we spent every long weekend and vacation here for years, always with the idea we would one day retire here. Coming here was not as far-fetched as it seemed to our neighbors back in Stepford Land, because my in-laws had settled in Brookings, OR, in their retirement. Being here meant we were half way there from the Bay Area.

In 2000 when we were ready to make our big move and build our dream house on our land, I had a friend tell me he could not understand why we would want to move to Southern Humboldt as he found people "there" to be the most unfriendly he had encountered over his years in sales. I still do not know whom he must have encountered, as we have never met anyone except open, friendly, caring people here.

Sure, there are a few grouches and disgruntled; but even they can be made to smile on occasion. It is these gray days of winter that seem most likely to turn down the mouth and turn eyes to the ground around here. The grinding poverty some are subjected to make for depression as well. But beneath those sometimes-haunted looks there still beat friendly hearts.

I have made a point recently to look people in the eyes, and if I know it or they are wearing a nametag, to call them by name. It is such a simple thing, but it can be so meaningful to someone who may have felt invisible in this world. In the Psalms, David wrote about his God that calls us each by name. How awesome is that? Think about it.

Evelyn King is a preaching elder at the Community Presbyterian Church with graduate work in values education from San Francisco Theological Seminary and a BA in psychology/social science. She is a past director of the Healy Senior Center and the facilitator of senior fitness exercise.