More than ever, it is time for Nana and Pa to show up, and help our two grandkids run off energy and frustration, connect with nature, and find moments of joy in the great outdoors, abundant here in Portland.
I had a blog post all ready to go, but it was full of blue sky and soft sea breezes, crashing waves and soaring pelicans. I just can't bring myself to post it amidst this unsettling, almost apocalyptic scenario laid out before me, with so much suffering, loss, discomfort, and confusion all around.
The protests in Portland have ebbed and flowed for the past seven weeks, and are now back to peak crowds as baton wielding Federal officers sent by Trump have stepped into the fight, supposedly to protect the U.S. courthouse. I can't think about much else these days. I go to sleep and wake up with it. It has detonated the air with the deafening flashbangs, thick clouds of tear gas, and pepper bullets. Worst of all, protesters are getting dragged into unmarked vehicles - minivans and SUVs for god's sake.
Eastsider? Westsider? These terms are new to me, but it makes sense. The Oregon Cascades Mountains create a great divide running along the length of the state with two different climates, economies, lifestyles, and politics - all the things that make a life.
I spent April chasing Oregon's elusive wildflower bounty, hoping to catch the brief moment in time when tight little buds transform into fields of color.
When we first arrived in Portland our son warned us that spring was actually several seasons in one - fake spring, late winter, early spring, summer, real spring, winter again, and so on.
But what a difference a day makes. Last Friday most everything melted. The skies cleared and views of the Cascades showed gleaming snow-capped peaks. Clouds of the white and fluffy sort drifted lazily in a dazzling blue sky. The temperature climbed to 50, which we haven't seen in a while. Or at least I don't remember; perhaps it's frozen out of recollection.
Winter teases with a promise of renewal as new growth pops up, often subtle but sometimes shouting out loud. There really is reason to go outside.
A place where we're reminded that once upon a time no humans walked, where human strife didn't exist, where none of this, none of us, mattered.
I like Portland weather partly because I have no choice. I repeatedly re-embrace it in a cognitively dissonant way, forcing myself to think: It's exciting! It's variety! It's opportunity! instead of: Oh this sucks!