Equinox and empathy


Happy equinox, all! For those of us here in the northern hemisphere, I think I can speak for most of us when I say we are ready for spring! For those south of the equator, perhaps you’re ready for a reprieve from the summer’s heat.

I enjoy acknowledging the change of the seasons. As regular readers will know, weather is important to me, and I also value marking the passage of time via the seasonal changes on the earth’s surface. Here in northwest Oregon, this has been a long winter. Blossoms that I would normally expect to see by early February have just recently appeared, in mid-March. And we even had that unusual heavy snowstorm a few weeks ago. But now, I’m seeing signs of spring all over!

On Saturday, I arrived at my newest cat sit, with cutie-pie littermates Marty and Emma. Their house is in Silverton, Oregon (population 10,558) about 40 miles south of Portland.

I traveled here via the train from Portland to Salem—once again, the cool “vintage” Amtrak Cascades train—and then bicycling about 15 miles east to Silverton. Fortunately, Saturday was one of our first spring-like weather days, so I enjoyed the warmth and sunshine for the ride, before the rain and chill returned the next day.

This town is the home of the botanical Oregon Garden, as well as Oregon’s only Frank Lloyd Wright house. My host was kind enough to gift me a couple of tickets to the gardens, so I will probably visit there soon; it has been several years since I last experienced that place. I had also planned to tour the Wright house this time, but I recently learned that the separate admission for the small house is $20, so I think I will forego it.

Silverton also sits 14 miles northwest of the beautiful Silver Falls State Park, which I visited for the first time at the beginning of my bike travels in September of 2021. I may or may not make it back there this time. But I’m enjoying this change of pace from Portland, and considering a future Eugene cat sit. Oregon explorations can be fun, while I await the best timing for my “bigger” travel adventures. This state is so beautiful.

This past week has been rather challenging for me, for reasons I’d rather not detail, but it is strengthening my resolve to offer my gifts to the world as much as I can. I would like to reiterate my offer of free/no-strings “empathy hours,” especially at this equinox time. If you, or anyone you know, would appreciate an hour-long video chat (or phone, if you prefer) for supportive listening on any topic, please feel free to message me to set it up. I’m happy to listen if you are struggling in any area of your life, and also happy to celebrate and/or help with brainstorming or strategizing any ideas or projects you may have, for your own life or for the larger community.

May we begin this new season with renewed commitment to our own and collective thriving!

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