Over the weekend my husband and I visited Portland, Oregon.
What a town! What a glorious neck of the woods! It was a little bit like home (why do I still say it like that? I mean, my childhood home)--the smell in the air of rain, of damp earth, of growing things. I thought my heart would burst with happiness.
We did all sorts of fun things together, the two of us. We haven't taken such a trip in ages and just that, the loveliness of being together with no concern for anyone else, no other duty or obligation, was not lost on us for a moment.
Oh, Portland. Oh, your food trucks, your Powell's book store, your Blue Star Donuts, your lovely artisanal eateries which sometimes made me want to check and see if you could really say all those precious things about food with a straight face, oh your lovely run by the river, your misty, feathery rain.
Portland. Whoever gets to live in you must love you so much.
I could feel it everywhere I went.
This morning, on the first day of one of my favorite months of the year (is just feels so good to say September!), what should I encounter out in my own neck of the woods but the enormous, mythical blue bee!
As usual, I considered whipping off my t-shirt to try and capture him, but I quickly reined myself in with the repetition of an old oath, one you must take if you ever want to join my beetle club, which is as follows: I will take good care of all living things.
With that, I simply found it impossible to do anything more than enjoy his magnificent black-sapphire sheen, his legendary girth, and his great baritone hum which seemed to ring from the center of the earth.
What a glorious way to begin the month! What a rite! What a wonder!
I hope this finds you doing well, dear reader. I have so many thoughts in my head these days--serious thoughts, lighter ones, thoughts on spiritual matters...considering, hoping, and trying to understand. This weekend left me feeling deeply grateful, as most days do, and wondering if my life even begins to reflect the goodness I see around me.
There is so much joy and sorrow in this world. It's strange to see how life makes room for both, at once, and allows us the opportunity to choose which will have the greater effect. I don't say that lightly or with condescension...I say it humbly, with respect for how deeply felt our experiences may be.
My gratitude steadies me. It reminds me to try and walk more deeply through my day, to try and make a greater difference, to try not to falter when troubles come my way. It reminds me to open myself to opportunities to help, to leave a gentle touch upon the world around me. It clarifies my sight and reminds me God is near; I sometimes think I almost see Him, indirectly, through His wondrous creations.
Happy September, dear reader. I hope it is a beautiful one for you.