It is 8:42pm here in Tigard, OR, and I am sitting in a lovely coffee shop on Main St called Symposium. I leave for France in six days! Yesterday I received my host family information, and my excitement grows every day.
In case you have lost hope in humanity like many lately, I have a story to brighten your evening.
I left my house this evening to walk the 30 min to Symposium, and I kept getting lost in the beautiful forests that are speckled around Tigard. It is amazing to walk three minutes, and feel as if I am in a rainforest all of a sudden. I ate lots of blackberries, and even a plum on my walk! Nature provides so much delicious food.
At one point, I ran into two Hispanic women around my mother's age who were also eating blackberries next to a park. As I passed them, I commented on how delicious the blackberries were, and they cheered in agreement. I kept walking, and noticed that they were walking the same path as me, close behind and at a similar pace. This continued for a while, sometimes I would be ahead and sometimes they would be as we individually marveled at different plants, and stopped to pick up pieces of trash.
After about 10 minutes, I commented on how beautiful the evening was. One of the women laughed in agreement (not speaking much English). She then said "those men back there, scary," shook her head. I remembered passing several "sketchy" characters around the time when the women joined me. I agreed, and she said "tres hermanas," and signaled to the three of us. I don't speak much Spanish, but I know from my mother that it meant "three sisters."
I realized that they began to walk close to me when we were passing the questionable looking men, not wanting me to be alone. This warmed my heart and gave me a hope for humanity that I haven't felt for a few weeks. It is so easy to get lost in all of the hatred and suffering of the world, but moments like these are so valuable.
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That was completely unrelated to France, but I felt the need to share. We all gotta spread some love and happiness.
This last week, I have been working on getting rid of everything that I don't need. I filled five garbage bags worth of clothes stuff that I don't need, because I'm sick of moving so much crap that I don't use from place to place. I have been listening to podcasts and doing research about Essentialism, a lifestyle in which you only spend your energy on the things that are essential. I'm still figuring out exactly what is essential to me, definitely my love for connections, expressing myself through art and music, and appreciating nature and god.
Thank you for reading and for supporting. It has been a difficult year, but all of the love I receive from the world makes it all worth it.