Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Mark Finds a Temple

This weekend we got caught behind repairs to power lines when we were coming home on highway 126. We drove up and down the highway trying to out-wait the repairs or find a place to hang out.  But a windstorm had blown multiple trees down and the electricity was out along McKenzie River cooridor. Finally, Mark remembered a resort likely to have a generator, and we managed to book a room there.

The next morning Mark said, "I found a temple!" when he returned from his hike. So we visited it. I was expecting something goofy with Americanized Greek sculpture or faux-Egyptian statues or Phoney Flower Fairies. What we found instead, hidden by stone walls and bamboo, was a kind of architectural folly.

Flowing water tumbled over a circular cascade. I loved it and I wanted it in our back yard. The arrangement was a temple: a temple to water.  Afterward, I saw some pictures of it with blooming flower beds, and I'm sure it's lovely, too; but in the losened grip of winter, the play of stones and water was more apparent.  (And using the internet, I see that it gets used for weddings.)

The moss growing on the pillars reminded me of the nearby trees.

Because I was there on a Very Late Winter Monday Morning, I had the whole place to myself -- there were no wedding receptions, church retreats, or wandering campers.  The flowing water masked noises of traffic and RVs.

The fountains were enchanting.  I loved the mystery of the ruins, although I could see that the columns had a tile façade instead of real stone. The builders made clever use of walls, boulders and the existing stream to create an enclave to watery currents. Each spot had a niche or window. I would love to see the structure's geometry in snow (and the internet has provided a glimpse).

Surrounded by forest hills wreathed in mist, it was easy to imagine I was in another world.  It was the sort of place Arthurian characters might tarry for adventures in.  It was the sort of place I could bring tea and sandwiches (and chocolate) to and write (but probably not on a weekend or during wedding season).
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