Ode to Portland

Distant downtown Portland, as seen between the trees on Mt. Tabor.

Distant downtown Portland, as seen between the trees on Mt. Tabor.

Walking Charlie on Mt. Tabor yesterday, it occurred to me that I will probably be able to count the remaining times we walk here on my hands. After 22 years of many, many walks up here (not all with Charlie of course. She is only 12.5 years old), I am leaving Portland. And I’m really glad to be leaving. I don’t know if I’ve ever felt quite so done with a place before. It’s just a neutral feeling; nothing negative.

This is one of the first places I cavorted when I moved here in June of 1994. My memories of that first year in Portland, especially that summer, are of riding my bike around everywhere, lots of going out to breakfast, lots of Stevie Wonder Talking Book, throwing parties, going out dancing, dressing up, and really enjoying life. Which was very much needed at that point. I had a good place to live, good friends, and a couple of jobs that I liked. Even when my appendix burst that August, it was no problem – my insurance from a job had just kicked in and everything was taken care of.

I’ve been so taken care of in Portland. About a year into living here, I started to feel my usual angst about what to do with my life. It took five years to even come near figuring out my path. It took until this year, 22 years later, to really, really own it. That’s a gosh-darn long time! Portland was a safe place to be to live a very full life and figure things out. I feel like I’ve just finished a major piece of life work.