After being cooped up with my sick kids for the last week and half, and despite finally crossing the line of flu symptoms myself, Saturday morning I got us all into the car and headed down i-84 to Rooster rock. It's a place I drive by a lot but haven't stopped in years. It's where tourists stop for the sweeping views of the gorge, kids go on field trips and, for natives, if you've been here once you've been here 20 times, literally. But it is only about a 20 minute drive from my house and in my condition of breaking out in cold sweats and desperately shielding my eyes from the light it was about as far as I was willing to venture. So before things took a turn for the worse and I found myself cooped up for another week I just needed to get into some open air and take advantage of this this last burst of summer weather we are having here.
I think one of the reasons people love (and move to) Portland is because of how easy and quick it is to get out of the city and into nature. And, of course, that makes it a place for the outdoor enthusiast. I never consider myself an "outdoor" person because if I am comparing myself to most people around here my lack of bicycle ownership alone immediately excludes me from that club. But I do love to be outside and I am so grateful that I can hop in my car and within minutes be surrounded by the beauty of nature. And, truly, you don't have to be sporty to enjoy nature in Portland at all. There are so many places to take an easy hike, or walk along the river, or find a beautiful lookout or park to sit on a bench with a cup of coffee and read a book. I've been thinking about taking a few mornings a month to set aside some solo time for such things while the kids are in school. It's so good for the soul. And while they also love the outdoors and I love being with them in the outdoors, I think it sounds so lovely to start making a habit of spending some time alone in the beautiful landscapes that are all around me - walking at a brisk pace or a meandering pace, taking photos, and where the only little voices I may hear will be the ones in my own head. Do you have any routines where you take some time to just be with yourself?