Usually my feelings about Fall here in the Pacific Northwest are more mixed; excited about cooler mornings, rain in the garden, digging out warm clothes while mourning the end of languid days, sleeveless shirts, warm skin, and thriving gardens. Instead, I was fighting inevitable change, a losing battle.
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.
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.
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!
Weather is the quintessential superficial conversation topic. In Southern California there's not much to say about it. Sunny today, sunny tomorrow, sunny next week. Now I have four winters under my belt, and everyone asks, "So, how are you liking the weather?"
I didn't fall in love with Portland right away. I wasn't all that impressed during our many visits early on. It felt more like a blind date, a set-up by our daughter. Portland was an occasional fling, not marriage material. Landing at the airport on the northeast end of town, we drove through the grittiest … Continue reading Falling for Portland
Note to self: Skip the isolated trails between the river and abandoned railroad tracks when you're alone, especially if no one knows where you are. Note to self: Just because it's sunny don't assume it's warm. It's February for goodness sake. More layers. Note to self: Carry a hankie when it's cold. Powers Marine Park … Continue reading Hanging Out Under a Bridge
The first time I visited Fernhill Wetlands was in late December of 2016, during the presidential transition period. A thick mist shrouded the ponds and streams, and in hindsight, I should have known that the opaque fog was a portent to the darkly bizarre and disorienting year ahead. The cold seeped in around my insulating layers, … Continue reading A Swamp, A Refuge
Do we choose hope or despair, heroism or cowardice, light or dark? Frodo and Sam might have answers.