23 July 2009

My Ode to Portland...sort of

As I sit in my newly furnished room in my newly built house in Tahoe, I am trying to find the words that somehow explain why I miss Portland so much; and why I will miss it so much. I look back at journal entries that I have written over the past few months and think that, although I don’t really enjoy the idea of posting my diary on the world-wide-internet, maybe they can explain it better than any “ode to Portland” I try to conjure up. So here you go, friends. Two journal entries that somehow sum up a few years of ridiculous, frustrating, imperfect, bliss. Hopefully all of you who have been such a huge part of my life (you know who you are) will appreciate it and realize how much I truly and deeply love you. You have all meant more to me than words will ever begin to express.

May 18, 2009 – Leaving the Rain
The rain falls outside of my window. How many times over the past four years have I sat, listening to the rain wash over the world? How many times have I tucked my hair into my jacket, pulled my hood close to my skin, and ran through the rain towards some sort of shelter? Always trying to get out of it, but sometimes (not often enough) letting myself simply rest in its divine and perfect wetness. Now, as summer thankfully approaches in Portland, I realize that this may be the last time it rains before I leave. So I sit, like I always have, and let the sound of the rain wash over me. It sounds ridiculous, but the rain truly does wash over my spirit and cleanse it. Even in the middle of the winter, when it feels like the rain will never stop, it always seems to make me feel comforted and safe. I think it is the peace in knowing that there is this blanket of water covering the earth: sustaining growth, reminding me that everything washes away and eventually becomes new again – we just have to be a little bit patient. The cold air from the open window nips at my arm as the rain falls outside. There is a frog somewhere out there, happy for the rain to soak into its dry skin. I will miss the rain. Even if it rains in California or in Washington, DC or wherever God leads me, it will never be quite the same as Portland rain.

I am biding my time. Trying to make the last two months really count. Going to all the places I always wanted to, reading all the books I never had time for, spending time with friends who will seem so far away in just a few short months. These two months have to count for something big. But when I think about it, this year has counted for quite a lot in itself. That is why I am finding it so difficult to leave. My tears are not so much out of sadness as they are out of gratitude, passion, and unyielding faith in this city and the community of authentic love and vulnerability that I have built here. It is like the rain that falls not to drown us, but to fortify our souls, my soul. I realize from these tears that I have made it count. I have made every relationship – even the impossible ones – count. I have made every conversation, every Sunday at Mosaic, every laugh and every tear count for something. These little details – all the little aspects that I have stepped towards with intention – will sustain me as I venture out into the world. For these are the details that have formed my identity; formed my character. In those times when I feel as though I am alone in a place so far from those I love, I will draw upon these details for comfort and peace. And I will draw upon our nights of Friends marathons, just as much as our nights spent in deep conversation about our families, our world, and ourselves. All of it has counted for something that helped me discover who I am and who God is calling me to become. I will look back and see this time as a period of rain, falling down, cleansing me from who I thought I needed to be. And what is left after all the rain? I suppose it’s me.

1 comment:

The Life of Kayla! said...

This is an absolutely beautiful and stunning journal entry. You are an incredible writer Ms. Horton. I will miss you greatly as you embark on new adventures!