My time in Astoria will forever be etched into my memory. I gained the trust that I’ve found a true calling and passion, one that I can hopefully continue to mold into a lifetime of work that might leave its mark on the world. I’ve gained the knowledge that Colorado isn’t my final destination. I need to move on to greener pastures, literally. And I’ve gained the comfort that my search for my best friend and life partner has not been in vain.
I come away with a treasure trove of audio recordings of the sounds of the Pacific Northwest. Sounds that Lewis and Clark likely heard as they completed their westward journey. Sounds that I hope are preserved for countless generations to enjoy.
I come away knowing there’s a potential place for me to settle down. I knew I missed water and greenery, but I didn’t know how much until this week. I need the rain as much as the rainforest needs it to survive.
And I come away with a connection. An unlikely one, but one that means more than I would have ever expected less than 48 hours ago. A connection that was nurtured in the rain as much as the rainforest that was my office this week.
I wanted to write this before I forget. You might argue that if I need to write this down to remember, then these thoughts may not be that meaningful. And maybe they aren’t, but I find myself being moved by life more and more lately, and I think my brain has a limited capacity for holding onto the totality of these moments and thoughts. So I write to remember and I write for myself.
I board a plane for home in a few moments, but a part of me stays behind. My recordings will forever be a part of Lewis and Clark National Historic Park. Astoria and the surrounding area will always have a hold on the back of mind as a potential landing spot. And a small piece of my heart beats on with the rhythm of the falling rain.
“You put together two people who have not been put together before. Sometimes it is like that first attempt to harness a hydrogen balloon to a fire balloon: do you prefer crash and burn, or burn and crash?
But sometimes it works, and something new is made, and the world is changed. Then, at some point, sooner or later, for this reason or that, one of them is taken away. and what is taken away is greater than the sum of what was there. This may not be mathematically possible; but it is emotionally possible.”
–Levels of Life, Julian Barnes