I can hardly believe it, a whole year has circled around me here in Portland, OR. In some ways, it seems like just a few months ago, with tears streaming down our faces, that we loaded up the last of our little one-bedroom Brooklyn apartment and bid farewell to the city and the people we loved there. I still hear myself say, “we just moved to Portland a few months ago,” when in fact, that’s not true at all. And yet, when I stop and look around me, considering the number of paint cans I’ve dipped my brush into, the number of boxes I’ve unpacked and things I’ve organized, the number of meals I’ve already cooked in this kitchen, and, perhaps most significantly, the number of sweet memories we have already piled up into a year of seasons, well, it does seem like it’s been a whole year. Now we know our grocers and love our neighbors and consistently remember to put our recycling bins out on Tuesday nights — all the good stuff of home-owning.
In some ways, though, it all still seems so new. Embarrassingly, I still plug in my GPS more often than I’d like to admit. There are dozens of enticing restaurants we haven’t had the chance to visit yet. There are (ahem) plenty of friends and family members who haven’t had a chance to visit us here yet, which still makes the whole thing seem new, or rather, yet unwitnessed. We’ve still got plenty to figure out about this quirky city and how to effectively fit in and find our way. Good assimilation takes time, I’m learning and re-learning and re-learning again and again.
But, this morning, as I ponder the strange passage of time — how many marks we’ve made on the big-boy growth chart and how many failures we’ve had in the garden — I see there’s much living to do here, in this sweet abode, and in this forgiving and lively part of the country. I feel the familiar, aching tug at my heartstrings as east coast friends continue to make big strides in their lives I’m not there to witness in person, and I also feel the newer tug at my spirit as our calendars get fuller with the freshness of fun, local work opportunities, and new friends becoming just “friends.”
And I see, perhaps most poignantly, since so much of our lives happens right here in this quaint, old house, the rhythms of our days enhanced by the ever-growing energy of home. Somehow, I see the colors of our everyday world mellowing as they interact with each other and I feel the heat of the old quilts and blankets strewn about working more effectively on my cold bones. I know, now, where to walk the zig-zagged path across Orlis’ bedroom to achieve the fewest amount of floor creaks after he’s finally nodded off to sleep in the evenings. And, on on those occasional nights when I make my way out of the house, I return and see the same old porch light somehow burning a little brighter to welcome me home after dark.
Portlanders! If you are practicing Elimination Communication with your little one (in any way, shape, or form) do come by the EC Parents and Babies Drop-In Group this Wednesday at Alma Education and Movement Space! It’s free for Alma clients and only $10/family suggested donation otherwise. There will be potties available and a safe, nurturing space for letting your baby be diaper-free (if you wish) while we exchange experiences, ideas, and create community around this wonderful practice. Infants to one-year-olds only please. 1233 SE Stark Street. Come on down!