Apart from a good book or film, the only kind of drama that I like is that which is provided by nature. This was a glorious day, one filled with dramatic beauty, fresh air, exercise, wildlife and a sense of peace and serenity. After 10 of the most intense weeks I have experienced in years, I went out to explore another of Portland’s many treasures today, Oaks Bottom.
When John and I left the East Coast, before we lived in the San Francisco Bay area, we moved to Portland for the first time, and lived in a popular SE neighborhood called, Sellwood. It is a hood located about 10-15 minutes from where we now live. In that neighborhood, there is a parking lot away from which runs a trail that leads down a gentle slope to what is known as Oaks Bottom.
Oaks Bottom is an elongated park, that parallels the Willamette river. It includes a large shallow lake on the east side of the Springwater Corridor. The Corridor is a hiking and biking path that also runs parallel to the river between Sellwood and downtown Portland. A 1-mile hiking trail wraps around the east side of the lake beneath the bluff. A side trail connects the east trail with Sellwood Park which is located a block from our old house. West of the north part of the refuge are two islands, East and Hardtack, that belong to the Ross Island group in the Willamette. Ross Island is the site of a heron rookery.
I walked the trail and back twice, snapping photos along the way, but mainly just drinking in the incredible beauty that I am so fortunate to live so near. It was chilly out, so I wore a light jacket, but I ended up taking it off and tying it around my waist. I did a lot of thinking while I was walking, and I felt incredibly grateful for this opportunity. I found myself smiling a lot…at the ripples in the water, the eagles and rabbits and the meerkats that I saw. I felt grateful for my wonderful family, especially John, and for my best friend…for my other friends. I felt grateful to be in Portland and to have such a comfortable (but modest) home. I felt grateful for the friendly folks I met on my way down the trail, and for the woman that told me to be on the lookout for eagles. (I saw 4!)
Midway back on the second trek, when there was no one else in sight, a mighty wind picked up creating a little bit of a fright, truthfully. I was down there alone, and it was *really* blowing! Branches, leaves, brush….animals scurrying about. It made me pick up my pace a little bit, sort of laughing at myself along the way.
When I got home, my organic produce delivery had arrived and I was famished from the brisk hike, so I made myself a very early dinner of roasted spaghetti squash topped with sauteed peppers and Chanterelle mushrooms, some steamed broccoli and some carrots in hot/sweet chili sauce. Beatrix scarfed down a couple of broccoli florettes without complaint as I sat out on the patio and enjoyed my dinner. It eventually got too cold and windy to stay out any longer, so I came inside and started on the first chapter of my Testing and Assessment text book.
Tonight, I shall spend the evening alone in front of the fireplace, and I look forward to being obligated to no one. John is teaching in Fairfield tonight, and we will chat after he finishes. I might read some more or I might watch a film. Whatever I do, I will do so happily and peacefully, having experienced today, the only kind of drama that I really enjoy.