We moved to Portland in the middle of winter. In the middle of the rainy season that we quickly realized was not just a myth, it really does rain here like...all. the. time. But I don’t mind. I didn’t mind the long days in february watching the drops of water form patterns on the windows as I cuddled up with my kids and drank coffee. Lots of coffee. My friend here says the rain is why coffee is so popular in Portland, she calls it liquid sunshine.
Those first weeks were tiresome. I would miss my exit on the interstate and find myself heading the wrong direction with crying children in the backseat. I found out the hard way what roads to avoid during rush hour and which lanes downtown are for buses, bikes, or trains, and NOT for cars. I auditioned different grocery stores and attempted to memorize where every green space is on the city map. It will take me years to know Portland the way I know Nashville. Learning a city as an eager 18 year old is much different than learning a city as a mother of two. But we are getting along just fine, Portland and I.
I was reminded recently by a pastor that dead things do not change, but living things always do.
If I hold too tightly to a living thing it will wiggle right out of my hands and find an open space to grow more freely. But if I hold it with an open hand I will get to watch it bloom and flourish right in front of my eyes. My children are an obvious example of this and I am constantly learning how to hold them and protect them without inhibiting their changing and blossoming selves.
And I am grateful for my own changing. For the tilling of the soil, the pruning of the branches to make room for more growth. It must only mean that we are alive. Praise God from whom all blessings flow...