A zephyr is a soft, gentle breeze, derived from the Greek “zephuros”, meaning god of the west wind. It is one of my favorite words, in part because I find the word “zephyr” beautifully shaped, in part because it reminds me of the beaches of the Pacific Ocean that are cooled by zephyrs, and in part because of the beetle named after zephyrs: Bembidion zephyrum. Bembidion zephyrum is one of my favorite beetles in North America. But this post is not about Bembidion, nor beetles, although a coleopterist is at the center. We have had a Mesquite package called Zephyr in development for several years, but this post isn’t about Mesquite either. It is not actually about zephyrs, although it is about a different Westwind.
Eight days ago I was a participant in an event that formed one of the best weekends of my life. The convergence of good, warm, people, great food, and an absolutely spectacular setting and weather formed a perfect context for a deeply moving celebration of the wedding and love of two people, Chris and Brian. I don’t think I’ve never cried as much at a ceremony as I did at this one. Our culture has come ever so far within my lifetime, and it felt so profoundly right that our community joyously embraced the love that these two men have for each other.
The setting was Westwind, a facility just north of Lincoln City, Oregon.
And, yes, beetles were found. Thinopinus and Akephorus were on the open beach at night; Nipponebria was on the faces of the rock cliffs; Zacotus, Pterostichus, and various tenebs were along the edge of the forest.
Although a love of the other species on Earth was an important theme of the weekend, the event was about the people. My memories are mainly about them, but the location has seared itself in my mind as well.