So fellow travelers, this visit to Portland has a more relaxed pace. Taking time to simply enjoy being here as if this is where we already reside gives me a different perspective of this quirky city.
Portland is definitely exhibiting the aches and pains of a city which has grown far too quickly in the past decade. Some of the bruises are decidedly ugly. Traffic gets steadily worse every year and Oregon’s absence of vagrancy laws creates an open door policy which requires a level of tolerance most large cities balk at. People become blind to the homeless because their presence is so pervasive it overwhelms any perception of being able to help. I have not been here long enough for the blindness to set in, what I see makes my heart ache. I am not sure I am willing to risk blindness to reside here.
During the week, the kids are up and off to work early. I hang out with their beautiful rescue dogs, and edit photos from the previous days wanderings while enjoying a good cup of coffee, while my husband works (the great downside of the capacity to log in and work from any location.) When he’s done we head out to wander at will, returning later in the day to have dinner with the kids.
Today my husband drove out to see the custom auto shop where our son-in-law works. Ah those boys do love their cars and trucks. I met Favorite Youngest Daughter at the bagel cafe where she works and enjoyed a delicious sandwich, sitting on the deck surrounded by sunflowers while writing my post about the eclipse.
When my husband returned from shop talk, we headed to the International Rose Garden, a spot I had not yet fit into our daily explorations because I expected most roses would be well past bloom this late in August. I was majestically proven wrong~
For some reason I was most drawn to the tiny buds yet to blossom, holding their secrets tight in the intense afternoon sunshine.
Late summer roses
Bright aromatic banquet
Secrets yet to bloom
And the bees, zooming in and out of the fragrant flowers, pollen coating their wiggling bodies as they pushed deep to gather sweetness.
gather sweetness spreading life
pure joy to watch
Portland is hot in August so we gladly accepted my younger daughter’s recommendation to visit a charming spot called the Tao of Tea.
We first experienced this type of tea service a few years ago at the Lan Su Chinese gardens in downtown Portland. Lan Su Garden is a beautiful treasure often overshadowed by the more famous Japanese Gardens. The spot we went to today is a second location of the tea house located in the Chinese gardens offering the same menu minus the admission fee*.
Tao of Tea is well named, a sanctuary where rich wood walls buffer sound and seem to absorb the worries of this trying world as you sit sipping carefully prepared hand selected teas. It was a most perfect haven to consider our younger daughter’s plans for the coming year.
Cocoon of quiet
Pillow dumplings smokey tea
Heart connections thrive
Fluffy dumplings, exotic teas, the gentle trickle of a Buddha blessed fountain, all gifts I can wrap up in memory to take home until I can return.
Walk gently on the path my friends an may adventure find you ready.
*Editors note: Given the opportunity to visit Lan Su Gardens, the unique and intricate landscapes are well worth the admission fee.