I ride my bicycle down to Old Town Eureka almost every day. Sometimes I stop at Eureka Books to see whats new in paperback. Often I stop on the bay to watch the seals swim by and gaze at the redwood covered hills in the distance. Occasionally I buy fresh Humboldt County fruits and veggies at the weekly Farmers Market.
Almost always though I swing by the old cafe on F street to catch up with friends old and new. Of course I also try to get some work done, but its hard with all the old fashioned and slow paced socializing going on around here. Besides, if I really wanted to get something done I would head down to the county library, a massive waterfront castle built from redwood timbers and sporting incredible views of the wetlands and the Humboldt Bay.
Towards sunset I ride along the marina, checking out the sailboats and the ominous silhouette that the broken down paper mill makes against the crimson sky. Here, past the Del Norte Street Pier, the waters edge is dotted with homeless encampments. Some of the residents used to live in the house next to mine.
It occurs to me that I do not really live here. I am just passing through, like the fog, like the tides. Like my neighbors.
Just a hundred or so years ago, the natives were massacred during a world renewal celebration. The early Eurekans snuck up to Indian Island in canoes and killed all the women an children while the men were out on vision quests.
A local native artist once said that the sun set twice that day.
Just last year the tribe, the Wiyots, performed their world renewal ceremony for the first time in 80 years on Indian island.
Did anything change? Listen closely.