Left Coast Dreams: Getting Lost, Finding Self

So fellow travelers, as mentioned in my previous post, I was returning to Portland to fill in a connection I did not even realize was missing.


Self portrait. Lone Fir Cemetery Portland

Our first Portland trip was an amazing experience. So amazing, I think over the past year I had begun to doubt the reality of that experience. How often do we return to a place where we experienced magic only to find the light is not the same, dimmed perhaps by faith we lost along the way.  Maybe our journey has taken us beyond our original need or growth has brought us to a different level and we must seek for Light in new venues.


Golden Hour Light.  Lone Fir Cemetery

I continue to believe in magic, those moments of joy and peace which come, if we keep our hearts open to receive, when we need them most. Often magic comes unexpected. Like the deep, long hug between my oldest daughter and me when we arrived at the airport. She and I held on, not letting go until waves of love washed away the ache from months and miles of separation.

Last year everything about Portland felt oddly familiar, even as I experienced it all for the first time. As new as it all was, I felt comfortable. I felt as if I had somehow come home. The feeling grew stronger each day. At the same time every day brought the magic of new discoveries, from food cart pods to secret waterfalls. I left with a list of what to explore when we returned and I was returning armed with that list and more.


Elowah Falls. Columbia River Gorge trails.

Would the magical feeling of coming home to a new adventure be there when I returned?

As I stood under the amazing glass and steel canopy of the PDX airport entryway I was suddenly aware of why this past year had been so unsettled and dissonant.  Home was no longer the city where I have lived and worked for forty years.  Home had become HERE in PDX.

This revelation was both a relief and a bit unsettling. I needed time and space to process this insight. So, the next morning when my younger daughter suggested we spend our first day back in Portland at Powell’s Books I had my answer. Because as fellow writer Denise Gainey recently said in her own travel post, sometimes there is no better way to find oneself, than getting lost.

And in Portland there is no better place to get lost when you are seeking answers than in Powell’s Books.



to be continued

Walk gently on the path my friends and may adventure find you ready.


Deborah H Rahalski

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