After getting to chat with our neighbors last evening, I felt less like a hermit who wanted to stay in her cave. Today I got my mask on and walked three pleasant miles around the neighborhood.
I headed east on Belmont, because I knew heading UP hill first would make the return trip easier. I enjoyed the feeling of really warm sun on my face, and the incredible blooms that Portland offers in spring.
I passed Heritage tree #241, a wonderful Japanese Maple at the corner of 37th and SE Alder. It shades about 50 square feet of yard and sidewalk, stands 30 feet tall, and is simply a beautiful thing. It also gave me the metaphor of the day, The Light At The End Of The Tunnel. It’s more about getting past despair than the virus at this point. And it’s coming soon.
Down on Hawthorne Street, I stopped at one of the few places still serving lunch, The Whole Bowl. Its tiny dining room was closed, but they were still serving wonderful spicy bowls for a good price. I was happy to eat, and they were happy for the business!
I noticed all the businesses we love that are closed for now, and wondered how many will be able to open again. Zach’s Shack, Belmont Books, even Powell’s, a branch of the mighty local bookstore. They are all suffering from loss or total lack of business.
Then I saw a bench with words of hope, finished my lunch in the sun, and cheered up. Passing a million more azaleas, lilacs, and dogwoods on the way, I headed home.