A Portrait of an Imaginary Life in Cannon Beach, Oregon

Everywhere I travel, I try to picture myself living. Some places are a stretch, like Illinois, where the summer heat combined with humidity are a recipe for my misery. Others, like Cannon Beach, where I visited my sister last week, feel like a dream come true.

Haystack Rock

I can imagine myself getting the part time job advertised in the window of the Organic Boutique, and stocking up on their little pots of all-natural paints. When I’m not working there, I’ll find a comfortable seat on a driftwood log on the beach with my sketchpad, capturing the Haystack Rock or the children flying kites. Maybe I’ll search for inspiration on a hike through the mossy evergreens, discovering hidden waterfalls and caves, channeling Sacajawea minus Lewis and Clarke.

Seaside
Campers by the caves

On rainy days (so, frequently) I’ll spend a few hours in various cafes writing deep, introspective thoughts, fueled by Aztec Mochas or Lavender Vanilla Lattes (both completely amazing). In all weather, I’ll visit the beach, allowing myself to be hypnotized by the rhythmic music of the waves and wind.

Aztec Mocha from Insomniac Cafe
A corner in Sesame and Lillies
North Beach

My TOMS and Wellington boots will co-exist happily by the front door, awaiting an excursion to Sesame and Lillies for a new home decor piece, or North Beach, for a sandy walk along the shore to collect new shells. My sand dollar collection will be artfully framed and displayed over my river stone fireplace.

My morning spot on the back porch

I’ll meet friends at Bill’s Tavern for fish and chips with a Blackberry Beauty Beer, or I’ll savor the best root beer known to man. It’s my kind of town, with yarn shops and glass works and fried seafood existing so close together, a car is cumbersome. And yet, you’ll never fail to discover another hidden gem on a street you walked a dozen times.

Best Root Beer Ever

From the chatty baristas at Insomniac Cafe to the fellow southwest and midwest transplants at the Conference Center and Ecola Bible School, the people I met are genuine, accepting, and kind. I feel like we would be friends, especially the girls my sister and I watched musicals On The Town and The Phantom of the Opera with while doing henna tattoos. Not only do we share similar interests; artistic, literary, fair trade, we’re also in similar places in life. We’ve found a place to minister, and maybe something else that pays the bills. We’re really just trying to find our place in life, trying to find what we’re meant to do.

Henna Birds

And when in Oregon, do as the Oregonians do, and put a bird on it! 

Have you ever fallen in love with a place you’ve visited? Tell me about it in the comments!