After we left Pennsylvania and drove through the lush mountains of the northeast, across the central plains, stopped in Colorado where we went on a hike in high altitude and low humidity (and I got my first ever sunburn – not fun! Sorry all you fair skinned people, I feel your pain), then passed through breathtakingly beautiful and unique Utah, across more plains again, then up through mountains covered with ancient pines that can't be described as anything other than magical because of their misty shrouds and holy waterfalls, we arrived, finally, in Portland, with bright eyes and light hearts.
I had an entire blog entry ready to go to say farewell to this one. It had a link to our new joint blog that was to be all about our new life in Portland, where we'd been directed to go both through logic and through intuition, where everyone who had ever been there told us we'd belonged, and where it seemed to us like we would too.
So we arrived in Portland, and found an overcast city. No problem, we knew that Portland's weather wasn't the sunniest. But we weren't there for the weather, we were there for the people! For the relationships! For our fellow veggie lovers! For my new husband's education!
Portland has an amazing vegetarian culture, true. A culture that is artsy and creative and unique. It is a definite tribe, one that the world needs. But, as we found to our dismay, it wasn't our tribe. We didn't fit in at all. And our bright eyes met other eyes that politely turned aside, not recognizing any sort of connection.
And we realized, as we spent all of each day driving and searching, calling and touring, and finding random wifi spots to look up new addresses, that finding a place to live would be much more difficult than we'd expected. “Of course!” you may say, but no. I've done this before, moved to a new city without a place to live. I've done it more than once. And I'd ALWAYS found somewhere that fit the bill perfectly. Not here. Not even close.
And, for months now, I'd had those deep whisperings that said “you know, naturopathic medical school may not QUITE be what Terry will do.” And I'd told him gently that if he changed his mind, I'd be fine with it, knowing that he would. And he knew too, as it turned out, but both of us, feeling the need to stick to a “plan,” quieted these thoughts privately and pushed through.
But, as it turns out, you can't push through when there is a different path for you to tread. Your pushing gets more and more difficult until you find yourself against an impenetrable wall of rock that sends you back where you came from, bruised and heartsore.
So there we were, days in, still no farther along, confused, sad, and exhausted, wondering what to do with our lack of options and direction. Then, like a candle in the darkness, we made a joke about driving south.
“You know, we spend twelve hours in the car every day ANYWAY.”
“Are you serious?”
“No. ….. I mean, no. We couldn't do that, right?”
And it marinated until when, a day later and in a scarier internal place where Terry was at a complete loss and I was questioning every gut feeling I'd ever had (which was a terrifying thing, considering that I've made just about EVERY major life decision throughout my entire adulthood based on that intuition), someone else suggested that we go south.
So we thought about it.
And we talked about it.
And, as we did, that knot in my belly started to relax, and loosen, so gently that I didn't notice it until I was feeling on steady ground again. And that constant threat of tears receded so I could see clearly. So I looked at Terry and he looked at me, and we decided that yes, maybe this WAS an option.
And the more we thought about it and felt it out, the more right it was until the next morning wound up with us checking out of our hotel and hitting the road.
That night the moon rose above us, full in an indigo sky and the sun set behind us over soft golden mountains of ripening wheat as we drove down Interstate 5.
Terry smiled for no reason for the first time in longer than he could remember, he told me.
And as we drove into Los Angeles, a single red firework went off just next to our car, filling our windshield, coming from a place where there weren't any houses and where there wasn't any traffic on the freeway.
We each looked at each other.
“Did you SEE that?”
Then, of course, after we parked the car I got out and immediately stepped in a giant mound of dog poo, which was less pleasant, but they say it's good luck so I'll go with it.
And here we are.
And we're still starting a new and awesomer blog, don't you worry. Here it is.
It'll be all about our new adventures, and they will be adventures, because what kind of hypocrite would I/we be, who tell others to follow their instincts, if we don't follow our own, even against all “logical,” “real-world” thinking? So here we go. Come along, if you like. It'll be a different ride though.
In Love and Light,