I’ve had a seriously terrible week.
Well, my weeks are not your average Monday-Friday. I live in that different world where people rejoice that it’s Friday and I shake in my boots hoping they’ll go easy on me for the weekend — hoping I won’t get in over my head or in the weeds. Whatever form of expression, I think you get it.
I decided earlier on that I wanted to get out of Portland for a night, on my weekend. Which these days, is Tuesday and Wednesday. I like it. I can get a lot of done. Everyone else is at their 9-5 and I’m straight up in the movie theater all by myself. Some of the perks. At least for me.
But I got real sick this week. A mixture of stress and not really taking care of myself in these past few weeks of tough transition.
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I knew it would be warm, so at first I had my mind set on the coast. Generally about 15-20 degrees cooler at any given time. But the hotels were too expensive. Then I thought about Mt. Hood. About an hour’s drive from Portland. The idea of some good clean air made me excited. Maybe even to crash and eat chips and watch TV. (Which was fun…for like an hour, then I realized how draining TV can be.)
So I went for a hike around Trillium Lake. Well, it was more of a walk. But that’s okay.
I saw a lot of squirrels. Some mushrooms. I had to dodge obnoxious campers who made it their goal to frighten as many ducks as they could. I thought of the Michael Scott quote from The Office, “Why are you…the way that you are…?”
I did some research on the Great Mountain before I left. Because I’m the type of person who likes to know this sort of stuff. The history of land anywhere these days can be controversial. Mostly because it was never ‘ours’. Any time you walk on some historic site named after a sickly white General from the 18th century, you should seriously take a moment to think about the human beings who used to walk these woods before your great-great-great-great grandparents were immigrants themselves.
To sort of stray away from using the term “Native American”, I will say First Nation people. Basically the people who were here first and were either pushed into Mexico or given Reservations to live on.
It is all sacred ground to me.
Wy’East is what First Nation people called the big mountain. Then an army came in the 1700’s and did their thing, and well, you can google the rest.
But what I love, is looking at the geography from high, high up of the mountain. As though the gods took smooth Earth and pinched it up. The wrinkles slowly forming a peak. Really, a beautiful, beautiful thing.
More importantly, it makes me feel small. Which is good. Because I am.
I find restoration in nature, even though I’m not in it all that much.
In walking some trails, I feel so confident going forward. There is a path. I can see up ahead.
And then sometimes, coming back, I take a different way.
It looks different, all of a sudden. The trees curve other ways. I second guess myself. I start to feel anxious.
But I know better. And I know that I am okay.
Sometimes, when the path isn’t as clear, you have to dig deep and get yourself back on track. Trust that intuition. It’s been given to you for a reason.
And while I’m poking around a big metaphor, I really just want to say how strong I feel sometimes. How much this mountain just stands here and takes it. Deep down, something churning. Dormant, but powerful. Having no need to express how fierce it actually is.
I sit and take it all in.
This sacred land – like Moses with his shoes off thinking, “This is all too much!”
Maybe it is.
And sometimes all you can do, is take off your shoes,
and dig in.