I've been going on a lot of walks lately, at least one a day. I suppose I could run, very slowly and painstakingly, and perhaps I'd lose weight quicker, but I don't want to run, and I'm not willing to say it is because I am unmotivated. I enjoy my walks far too much to run at this point in my life, and I don't feel a bit sorry about it. I especially love walking while we are here in Portland. I remember the first spring I lived here, I walked through winding neighborhood streets every damp morning and the colors of the trees and the flowers delighted me to no measure. I am a person who sees the world in colors. Yesterday on my walk around the neighborhoods of my in-laws, I felt romantic and swooning over the flowers I saw. I wanted to nestle the poofing pink peonies against my cheek. I wish I could have taken charming instagram photos of each one, and showed them to you here, but alas, my phone is old. Yesterday I got a text that Carl said he sent to me over two weeks ago, so while my phone clearly posses some magical powers, charming photography is not one of them. I said thank you in my head to the bright red hanging flowers on the corner, and tried to memorize the long, purple stocks near the entrance to the old-people community. There was a sign that warned about golf carts on the street in that area--pretty awesome. It got me to thinking if I would ever live in a old-person community, and I concluded that no, I wouldn't. But then I got to thinking about all of the unfamiliar streets and houses I was passing, and how to some person in the world, that house, street, bush, crack in the sidewalk, drooping set of snapdragons, view of the Portland woods, is the most familiar thing in the world to someone else. I kept thinking to myself, 'what if I lived here, what would I think when I woke up in the mornings?' I did this way too many times, thinking over and over about how strange and good it is that we all have a little space on this earth that is home to us. I thought myself into a dither as I wound up and downs roads. An hour later, I found myself at the back of my in-laws home. The house looked different to me, as if I were approaching it like all the other homes I'd just seen and wondered about. I thought to myself, 'who would I be if that were that simple, brown-slatted house in the corner of the cul-de-sac were one of my places on this earth?' and then I snapped out of my existential quandaries and realized, 'duh, that is my place.' The lights were on in living room windows, as the night was settling in. I stopped in the front yard and thought for a moment about everything that waited for me inside. Yes, of course this is my place, I thought, and then it wasn't so strange to me to understand that everyone else has a place too, that is just as familiar and perfect to them. I walked to the front door and opened it. No one noticed my return--nieces and nephews were running through the kitchen, the dog was politely trying to get to her closet hiding spot to avoid them, half a pizza was on the counter, the washer timer buzzed. I saw Carl sitting with Remy in the rocking chair and I adored the little place that's been carved out on this earth for me.

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