Just Off the Plane

What if we spent our days walking through the kitchen, along the sidewalk, or down the grocery aisle as though we had just stepped off the plane into a much-loved land? Walking in Southeast Portland this afternoon, I looked with ease and brightness behind my eyes, searching for connection and basic goodness. Wherever I looked, I found it: A soft smile here, a child laughing there; the contrast of evergreen trees against a slate sky; the old Labrador pulling his owner across the park, loping with glee toward the “leash-free” section of the park.
I suspect this has something to do with intention. Full of nostalgia and affection for my old home, I was predisposed to find what I was looking for. Had I held a different view—looking for dissonance, confusion, or looking to be excluded, I very likely would have found that instead.
I met my dear friend Aaron, dropped my bags at his apartment, and we went running: down Lincoln Street, past 50th, on up to 60th, higher to Mt. Tabor ascending the hills over the city. Within twenty minutes I stopped to peek through an opening in the Douglas Fir trees to take in a full view of the city. Beyond the lights and veins of pavement stood that great sentinel, Mt. Hood, guarding the state from 14,000 feet above sea level. Nevermind that the city was cast in its tell-tale gray skies. Nevermind the cold blowing wind and forecast for rain. Today the city glistened with possibility.

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