24 December 2011

Happy Christmas

It's always a challenge, to find good times for walking and being when celebrating and staying with lots of loved ones.  There are meals to make, cookies to bake, puzzles to put together, and things like showering and cleaning up always make their way in there somewhere.  So, I was so glad today to find myself with a half hour before lunch to walk...

I wasn't expecting to be writing here today, but I did walk, and think, and take some photos of this lovely place where I am spending the holiday.  So it just seemed to happen.  I am in a different place...

I hope to deliver some other lovely photos and posts, but for today I just wanted to share the fine, crisp, clear feeling of this place where I am spending Christmas.

And the delightful feeling of being somewhere new, with people I love, on this special day.  I hope you are enjoying this day wherever you are, and that your holiday is wonderful, whatever it may be.

21 December 2011

Adieu and Happy Holidays

Well, K and I are about to leave for a holiday vacation. I expect to be back with stories, photos, and, of course, my thoughts about all of that.

Thanks for reading this past year. Thanks for letting me know when you learn something new.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday and that 2012 brings connection, peace, learning, and love.


13 December 2011

Going Back

I had the opportunity this weekend to go back. My sister was up in Seattle for a work conference, so I drove up Saturday night to spend the evening and next day with her. We grew up there, in that rich green city, when the focus was on planes rather than computers; we skinned our knees and rode bikes surrounded by rain and saltwater and moss.

Seattle felt both different and the same; it is, as always, a city in transition. Sometimes, a city block has undergone such significant change that I become disoriented, losing almost entirely my sense of place and direction. Landmarks disappear, new ones appear, and I feel lost until there is that brief view of water, or mountains, or a familiar intersection, and focus returns.

I know where I am, but not exactly. I think that that coffee shop is just over there, but look, there is a new one. I thought that this street went all the way through, oh no it doesn't. I guess I'll take a different way.

C. and I spent Sunday just walking around, lazily, like we did when we were twentysomethings, when weekend time waited to be filled with conversations, revelations, and trips to bookstores. There were occupy protests and coffee-drinkers; lots of people in layers and Christmas shoppers. And among them were the two of us, talking about the past, present, and future, and being glad to be together.

You can't go home again, so they say, and it is especially strange when home feels like a moving target, a constantly changing kaleidoscope of gray and green and water. But being with my sister always feels like home, and being in a Seattle that feels like my life at its beginning, and not, all at the same time, that felt like home, too.

So maybe you can go back, maybe you can go home again, because home is people, and places, and moments. Home is where you find it. Home is always there, if you are willing to settle in.

06 December 2011

Finding a Vast View

It has now been sunny in Portland for several days, with today fogging over just a bit.  Seeing the blue of the sky on a daily basis, what a notion, and how much it seems to matter.  It feels like a perfect amount of beauty and bright to get us ready for the final descent into solstice.

I am attempting to implement a one-long-walk-a-week plan, so yesterday, having a free morning, I took advantage of the sun and the cold to take a nice long walk around my neighborhood.

I decided to walk up the big hill to Council Crest Park, a beautiful grassy knoll that looks out over the city to the East, and the Coast Range to the West.  It is said that this where Native Americans of the area held councils, hence the name.  When you're up there, you can see why. What a wonderful idea, to have important discussions in a place with a view...

So, the walk is no mean feat (yet no real large one either...).  and midway through, huffing my way onto a flat street after a sustained climb, I began to think that perhaps I wouldn't make it up to the top after all, that I could just loop around and head back down.  Why not? Why did I need to go all the way up there anyway?  Who said I had to?

Thankfully, another part of me won out.  The part that just wanted to do what it had set out to do, and knew what awaited after just a bit more work.  I was well rewarded.  Though sunny on top of the hill, fog still clouded the city below.  From the park, I could see the peaks of the cascades, and the city shrouded in mist.

When I reached the top, there were only a few other people there to enjoy the splendor. A man sat on a bench with his dog, talking on a phone. A couple arrived and wandered around a bit, taking in the view and cuddling. I myself sat on a rock wall for quite awhile, feeling the warmth of the sun warm the stones and my face.

I was so happy that I had persevered and done what I had set out to do; what I knew I wanted to do.

What is it they say about choosing the road less traveled by? Oh yes, that it makes all the difference. (But nothing about how hard it is to choose it!)

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