Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Settling In

I have always been especially in tune with the collective energies of my surroundings. The city of Portland for instance, has always been Home. When I moved to Olympia to attend Evergreen I developed an inner sense of home, that I suppose all college students must. My time there was temporary and when I was ready to leave I completed my move back to Portland in a matter of weeks.

This time around the circumstances were much different. When Justin and I settled into Olympia in April 2008, we intended to be there for about 5 years while we launched and nurtured our nascent businesses. Despite that intention, I soon felt stagnant in the small pond of Olympia and missed the people and culture in Portland. I felt the energetic fabric of my life spread thin over the 105 miles between the two places and realized I wanted to move back to Portland as soon as possible.

Much of my heart remained firmly in my hometown; with family and friends but also by the entity of My Life, which seems somehow married to the fabric of this city, stitched in place by my history here. Major events like my wedding, the birth of nieces and nephews or simply the feel of a certain period in my life are still alive here and I am more connected to the current of my existence here.

It's been just over 7 days since we've arrived. People ask if we are "settled" and I think deeper about that question. I'm not someone to leave boxes unpacked and miscelleanea scattered about for days. Our boxes were unpacked, the bed made and my office set up within 24 hours. I was back to work for my regular clients within 24 hours too and even picked up a new client within a few days. Surely that's settled. But still here now, a week later I haven't established any routine and I find that the days are speeding by. Is this unsettled or simply a new lifestyle?

Self-employment is still fairly new to me so the constricted existence of 9 hours or more a day in an office or retail store is not a distant memory. For a long time my job provided structure and unbreakable routine. Freedom from this was initially exhilarating, but now it simply feels natural, as if there could be no other way. Coming back to Portland is something like that.

In the last week Justin and I have visited so many favorite places and several new ones as well. Each day has been a treasure hunt of activity. Cathedral Park, where we were married, was one of the first stops. Above is a photo of that park and part of the view from the ceremony site. We also went to First Thursday and enjoyed works by Dali, Chagall and Picasso at the Lawrence Gallery. We discovered a (new to us) vegan-friendly restaurant in SE Portland called Hungry Tiger and have taken several walks in gorgeous old neighborhoods drooling over all the Four Square houses. Last night was bargain night at the Hollywood Theater and we saw an awesome documentary on the heavy metal band Anvil.

Today is a work day, but I'm sure the city will be calling soon and I will find myself out and about. I love that the possibilities are almost endless. We're going to hike at Multnomah Falls later this week and with summer coming I look forward to walks in the Washington Park rose garden, berry picking on Sauvie Island, weekend bonfires at the coast and long warm nights of live music downtown. Settling in was like piecing together a puzzle - I'm home!