Sunday, September 18, 2011

Home from the Hill II Electric Boogaloo

The house is silent except for the rattle of rain on the barrel-lid outside the front window.

Portland has resumed it's autumnal grays and browns, albeit with the lingering savannah-yellow color of the late summer lawns. You should know that a green lawn in Portland is reserved for the enclaves of the feckless Well-To-Do; a sturdily hip urban Stumptowner takes pride in his or her sere expanse of waterless yard as evidence of an unshaken commitment to conservation in the Mediterranean climate of northwest Oregon. Let Laurelhurst and Bridlemile remain green through September; in North Portland and Sellwood we stand condescendingly amid our own miniature African veldt, humorlessly proud of our own superior ecology.I'm home again from a week working out of town.There really is something to be said for a home; not just a living space, but a well-loved surrounding that enfolds people, objects, and activities that define the place you are most defined by.

Or perhaps it is a facet of maturity. I spent most of my young adulthood in a search for the exotic. I find that on the descending branch of adulthood I enjoy the familiar as much or more than the novel.The wild land of the Olympic Peninsula is a stark magnificence. There is no gentleness, no softness there; the deep tangle of forest and brutal vertiginous mountains glower rather than beckon. Even as a place for work they are a beautiful surrounding, and I enjoyed my time there this week, seeing new places and doing new things.But it is now, in the quiet gray of dawn, with my family asleep behind me, that I find my heart at peace and my soul content.

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