This week I'm looking to see or hear what the trees are trying to tell me, They are stark and dramatic now, and their personalities revealed without the extravagance of leaves. The trees' rain-darkened bones stand out clearly, accentuated against the skies' lighter backdrop.
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.