For months now we've all been holed up in various ways. Personally, I've begun to feel that the the world is closing in on me.
Like it's hard to breath sometimes. Hard to move about. Hard to see very far out in front of me. The four walls of my apartment have often felt like they're squeezing the very life out of me.
Some of my friends have said they can't "focus" to do much of anything productive. Luckily, I've still been able to make photos and draw and paint, and most importantly READ! Reading books has consistently been a way of transporting me to places beyond the few rooms in which I'm sheltering in place.
The other day, though, feeling particularly confined, I busted out and took myself to Sauvie Island, a beautiful 26,000 acre river island that sits at the confluence of the Columbia and Willamette Rivers. We sometimes go in the summer to pick berries and hang out at the beach. It's a favorite spot for me to admire and photograph the migrating snow geese in the winter.
As I stood in complete silence on a muddy patch of farmland to watch the sun go down, I sadly realized I haven't been properly taking advantage of the beauty of the PNW during this 9-month-long lockdown. I say sadly because, well, for the first time in a a long time, I actually felt like I could breathe deeply and see far off into the distance.
Minutes after I spotted a bald eagle, an impressive flock of geese flew by, honking noisily as they grazed the last few stripes of the orange sunset. It was then that it hit me: no, the world in NOT closing in on me. In fact, it's as expansive, as rhythmic, as poetic, as holy, and as dazzling as it's ever been.
I stood in that spot for a long while, even after darkness had settled down around my shoulders. And on the short drive back into Portland, I felt more alive than I have in weeks.
NO, the walls are not closing in, but it does take some effort to prove it to ourselves these days. I hope you're finding your own ways to do just that.