Short essays from my point of view here in the Pacific Northwest.

Here you’ll find words to express my joyful participation in a world of sorrow. I hope to find words that resonate for you and your life, and help us find meaning together.

The great home of the soul is the open road.

–D.H. Lawrence

Some change falls in our laps, some we seek out. It can be challenging, thrilling, or terrifying ride. I try to embrace change, and live a little deeper, a bit wider, somewhat louder, definitely more fully, in spite of the doubt, fear, and resistance. Sometimes it’s a tug of war.

2014 was a year of change. Both children had landed in the same city 1000 miles away from me, and now my second grandchild’s arrival was imminent. My husband and I made the leap, leaving our home of 32 years to create a new life and adventure near them. It took many stressful and challenging months, but we packed up our life, and made the complicated shift from Santa Barbara, California to Portland, Oregon. The full story of that transition is here.

I re-invented and re-oriented myself to new surroundings, experiencing a journey that went from scary to surprising, from confusing to creative – and a lot of fun. I wrote all the while, to notice, examine, and puzzle it all out. After so many years of scribbling privately in notebooks, I decided to put it out in public, in spite of a whole truckload of fear. Overcoming discomfort and fear is the ultimate metamorphosis.

Here are essays about remaking a life: grandparenting, exploring the Pacific Northwest (hiking and travel), retirement, transformation, family, nature and seasons, music, writing, the pandemic, and perspectives on aging and death. (The Categories button on the right will help you find what you’re looking for.) And on my BookStack page, you’ll find short reviews of what I’m reading.

Thanks for joining me! Please subscribe and follow me, and share with others what you find interesting. I love your comments, and to hear about your own journey. Let’s dive deeper into the conversation! It helps to know you’re out there.

Nancy Friedland

“Metamorphosis is a process that is both violent and regenerative, a death and a birth…. the only element of life that never changes. The journey of every individual, every country, every historical epoch—of the entire universe and all it contains—is nothing but a series of changes, at times subtle, at times deep, without which we would stand still. The moments of transition, in which something changes, constitute the backbone of all of us. Whether they are a salvation or a loss, they are moments that we tend to remember. They give a structure to our existence. Almost all the rest is oblivion.”

–Jhumpa Lahiri
My new home, the Pacific Northwest