It happened this morning.

It was the break from the summer heat that sweeps in each year with the first chilling air of autumn, a breeze that designates change .  Autumn is dramatic here in Portland.  Stunning.  It is my favorite season.  (I think I might say that at the beginning of *every* season in Portland.) Autumn here is beautiful.

This time 2 weeks ago, I was lounging by the pool in back of a multimillion dollar home in Northern California.  Today, however, I have the luxurious privilege of witnessing the first of the magnificent color bursts that appear each autumn in the Pacific Northwest.  They happen as suddenly and as thrillingly as the fireworks bursting overhead during our 4th of July celebrations…but seem more breathtaking each year.

autumn colorbursts

The heat is gone now, and with each morning burst of the cool air that has finally found its way to Portland , I feel a new excitement and ardor for life.  I am happy.  I am in love.  I am thrilled to be alive.  I cannot wait for each day to begin, because with it, comes new hope, new adventures and more beauty than I can fathom.

bird on limb

My classes have been uploaded to my school’s website a week early and I am already ensconced in conducting research and writing about eyewitness testimony….how the brain handles it…and why it is unreliable.  I am writing a paper about the Psychology of leadership styles.  I am writing travel articles for a new client…about Italy, Croatia, France…. and am  making progress at my studio on the projects that I have going on there.

What motivates me?  Love.  Whether it is the love that I am receiving from external sources, or the love that I feel simply because I am happy, this is what propels me through the day and causes me to feel glad to be alive.  I am loved, and that is the best feeling in the world.  If ever I doubted that I was, I was foolish to think so.


My husband is hard at work this morning, cutting wooden mosaic substrates for me to use for mosaics this winter.   He is making certain  that everything around the house is in good working order… gently squeezing my shoulder or kissing me on the cheek when he passes.  We are both acutely aware of the looming nearness of his departure date, and both of us are dealing with it in our own silent ways.  It is heavy, but we are not discussing it directly.

I am mending his socks at night, making sure his vitamins and heart medications are all together, writing out healthy menus and recipes for easy-to-prepare foods for him to take with him to the Bay Area with him.   We are having longer talks about things, deeper ones than our happy summer chatter, talking about things to come, the cars, financial issues and another  important relationship in my life that flickered for an instant, but that is burning brighter now than ever.

We have a truly unusual relationship, John and I.  It is golden, special.  We do not look upon these times as sad ones, although a certain sadness does exist for awhile when we part.  We are not threatened by 3-dimensional conventions.   We simply pour ourselves into our individual, independent lives.  We stay busy.  We create.  We produce.  We communicate.  And when we come back together, we are glad until we must part again.

Some people do not understand our marriage.  That’s ok.  They aren’t in it.

Everything is right in my life right now…just as I want it.  The stress that I experienced over the summer has vanished into loving resolve and things are better and more hopeful than ever.  Perfection does not exist, so I embrace the quirks and turn them into artful experiences.  I never forget to be grateful….and I know that I am loved.  I am secure in this fact.  I am loved right here.  I am loved from afar.

I have everything I need to be happy.   Rene Best musician