Mirror Lake – off Oregon Highway 26, a mile outside Government Camp, on the way from Portland to Mt. Hood. Reach the lake by a short hike taking no more than 30 minutes. At the lake, dip your weary feet in the cool water and watch the double vision of Mt. Hood and its reflection.
On the path, the tall pine trees listen silently to the travelers as they pass by.
Then, Brutus, I have much mistook your passion,
By means whereof this breast of mine hath buried
Thoughts of great value, worthy cogitations.
Tell me, good Brutus, can you see your face?
No, Cassius, for the eye sees not itself
But by reflection, by some other things.
Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, Act 1, Scene 2, Page 3.
Ozzie is with the two children. Along the way we meet people from many countries, speaking many languages. Hannah happens to meet a school mate from DePaul at the lake and the two of them share memories for awhile. Accompaning the schoolmate and her friend is her father and another gentleman. The uncle lives in Portland, the other in Munich. Likely, there is a family relation, but I don’t ask. I do take the opportunity to dust off my rusty German and share a few thoughts about Germany in German. It is impossible to have a meaningful discussion when you don’t understand the language well.
Even if one understands the language well, it can be difficult to communicate. With one’s children there is a gap of years. This gap is like a language barrier. So, that one speaks in a language not understood by the other.
Meeting someone from another country similarly leaves one in the uncomfortable position of not understanding either the language or the culture. We can only hope to share a few pleasantries.
The Oregonians that we have met on the trip are pleasant beyond description. They seem happy with their lot in life, and what is not to be happy about this lot? Packed into a state the size of Kansas, there is the coast, the valley, the mountains, and the rivers. HIkers roam the mountains, bicyclers follow the rolling roads, kayakers and wind surfers float the rivers from dawn til dusk, and, for a pause, couples share a coffee or a micro brew outdoors at the many cafes and pubs. Oregon is perhaps Nirvana, and Portland, its capital.