On the second day of my spiritual pilgrimage to the confluence project sites I drove into Oregon and toward home, because the sites actually led back that way. The first site I visited was Celillo Park. It's currently the only site where the project hasn't been installed, but I wanted to go there anyway. It used to be underwater, because of the falls that had been there. It was supposed to be a protected fishing site for the Native Americans But in the 1950's the U.S. government built dams, which changed the Columbia and silenced the falls. 

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When I got to the park I walked along the river edge and the land and felt the wind whisper to me. I touched the land and communed with it and felt the presence of the Columbia, constrained for the moment, but stronger than any made dam, ultimately. I looked at the fish as they swam in the water and was reminded all over again of the life that touches us and that we touch everyday through our choices and actions.

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Next I drove to the Sandy River Delta, which is right by Portland Oregon. It was the once the site of a dam that was decommissioned. The land and river has been restored there. It's also the site of the Bird Blind, which is a wood platform with slats of wood that have the names of the species Lewis and Clark discovered as well as the current status of those species. To get to the Bird Blind you have to hike for a couple miles and it was a blistering hot day, but I wanted to see this site, so I grabbed some water and hiked in.

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Fortunately some of the path is shade. It's a gravel path and as you walk along it you see glimpses of the Columbia River through the trees. Every so often I would stop and spend a few moments listening to the land. Eventually I reached the bird blind, where I looked at the different species that had been "discovered" and looked at the statuses. Most of them are endangered or threatened. 

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I still have a couple sites to visit, but I'll do it in the fall, when its a bit cooler. But this trip gave me a lot to think about. Wherever I went, I didn't just see nature. I saw how people had impacted nature and in general not for the better. It made me ask myself what my own choices and consequences of those choices are as well as what I can do to support the land, the place I call home. At the same time I felt just how small and insignificant we are. These places will exist long after I do, in some form or another. I'm less than a blink, just a moment in the span of the life of these places.

I'll share part 3 once I've visited those sites.

Read day 1 here

Read day 3 here

*Pictures copyright Taylor Ellwood 2018

Taylor Ellwood has been practicing magic since he was 16 and writing books about magic since his mid-twenties. His books include Pop Culture Magick, Space/Time Magic, and The Process of Magic. When Taylor isn't experimenting with magic or writing, he enjoys swimming, weight-lifting, traveling and gaming. To learn more about his latest projects, or read some of his other articles please visit Magical Experiments.