Yuba River - celebrating a long-awaited wedding with the whole family
Mt. Tabor Park - mulling over the world with one of the kindest, most compassionate spirits I know
Multnomah Falls - watching the world through the eyes of a four-year-old
Trillium Lake - stretching my soul
Santa Barbara - enjoying a new tradition with mom and baby sis
Fort Casey State Park - marinating in the gift of extended time with one of my favorite people
When I moved to Portland eighteen months ago, I was disoriented, to say the least. Not only had I ripped myself from the physical soil I called home for 26 years, several of the most significant relationships that had previously grounded my life and my identity were either radically altered or severed. I called myself a transplant, and that's how I felt: uprooted, tenuously connected to the ground beneath my feet, and in need of nutrients.
I've remained confident that the move was a good choice, probably the best choice. School has been great, and I've had the chance to work on (and get paid for!) several extremely cool projects. Portland is a fun city, and I love my weird and cozy garden apartment. It has become home, at least for now.
Yet community has eluded me. Making friends has been slow, as I believe it often is when you move somewhere new, by yourself, in your mid-20s (my sister says I can still say that I'm in my mid-20s, so I'll take it). Even though I am fortunate to communicate regularly with friends and family around the world via text, email, and Skype, at once point I experienced loneliness strong enough to start talking to my produce (I'd be happy to introduce you to Squashy the Squash sometime).
This summer, however, has nourished this little plant. I felt the sun on my face (and am at least a whole shade darker than Casper now), sand beneath my toes, wind in my hair, water on my skin. I danced, swam, drove, flew, floated, hiked, snuggled, laughed, cried, ate, drank, and was very merry. I spent time with family, visited with old friends, formed and strengthened new relationships. I worked hard, played hard, slept hard, was challenged, encouraged, and revitalized. Seasons such as this are rare indeed, and I have enjoyed every minute.
I woke up this morning and reveled in how very rich the soil is that sustains my life. I am very fortunate to exist in a larger ecosystem of individuals who display great compassion, who seek justice, and who spark joy, laughter, and shenanigans. Thank you for being a part of my life.
Oregon Brewers Festival - sipping craft beers with old and new drinking buddies
Base Camp Brewing Company - a not-so-vegan evening sharing fire and fellowship
someone left this flower at my cubicle - brightening the many, many hours I spent behind a computer divided over three jobs
sunrise over Mt. Hood - kicking off a new adventure
sunset over the Columbia - saying farewell to a special season