Boundary Lines

Does anybody ever want to hike in the rain? This afternoon’s precipitation has settled into softness, but those early morning drops hit hard. An undecided proto-storm was blowing in, the Doug firs around our house billowing every few minutes in a wind that felt barely in check. I thought about staying inside. My mother, in southern … More Boundary Lines

The Teachings of Mud

I was not the sort of child to make mudpies. Memoirs and novels focus nostalgia for childhood on plenty of more complicated experiences, but the one that always sticks out for me is the universal assumption that small children (at least used to) love to get dirty. I wasn’t fastidious, either. I loved the outdoors, … More The Teachings of Mud

Urban Refuge

It storms today. Out of a black pearl sky, winter rains drench Portland’s hills. Wind rises through the Douglas firs: a resonant, insistent song. Windrush on the north side of Powell Butte, midmorning, spoke of a temporary reprieve. Rain had fallen; more promised. From the promontory, we watched its approach. We took our chance in … More Urban Refuge