Hello From Portland.

Photo by Carrie Holbo Photography
Hey there.

It's been two months since I last bloggedy-blogged. So much has gone down since then.

We've been here in Portland since August 15th. The weeks preceding the move were a whirlwind, and the weeks following have been pleasantly tranquil. We are settling in and getting used to a little grey (and a little rain — which feels, if I may say, absolutely like a balm after so many years of drought in Northern California).

I've thought here and there about sitting down to say hey, but always find myself pushing it off to "another time." I'm not sure why that is. In some ways, it feels like there's not much to say. We're really happy. We love our new home. We adore our new neighborhood. We even kind of, well, love our mortgage. And Duke has started up at a darling little Waldorf nursery school a few blocks away, which means four whopping hours of morning quiet time for this solitaire to get some writing done and unroll the yoga mat.

It's all pretty gravy. I do have pangs now and then of missing SF, especially of late. I miss my people. We were in Seattle for a hot minute last month for our dear old friend Heidi's baby shower, and being downtown reminded me so much of the Financial District that my heart ached for old places and old times. There is a melancholy to leaving behind something that you've loved so much, and for so long. Twelve years is no short time.

But we came home to find Paul and Mariah and Adah and Junia here after their epic car-ride from Wisconsin. The cousins have officially landed and Duke is in heaven. He looks at them with idolizing eyes and a perpetual half-smile. He copies everything they do, a half-step and a beat behind them. He's gone from being terrified of baby dolls ("Eyes! Eyes!") to kissing them bye-bye. It's an utter delight.

Photo by Carrie Holbo Photography

Not much more to say. And so much more to say.

I can't quite. 

The kid has been napping so well since we moved here that I've been squeezing in a good 60-75 minute asana practice nearly every day. This feels like heaven. The old familiar Chaturanga knots in my shoulder blades have returned, and I couldn't be happier about that. [Sidenote: rolling on a tennis ball for self-massage in knotted-up spots is seriously salvific. Try it. You will die. So good.]

It's grey and quiet outside here today and I will admit, I'm loving it. The introvert in me who loved San Francisco's constant romantic wind and fog feels the same way about the cool and grey. Makes me just wanna curl up and read.

Teaching regularly again and it feels so good to be back in the studio. I spent the first month or so here speed-dating yoga studios. It was like my own live-action Goldilocks experience: too cold, too woo-woo, too stagnant, too small, not enough music, not enough Sanskrit, not enough realness. It's tough to start over after having grown deep decade-old roots in the SF yoga community. So when I stepped into Alex's class at YoYoYogi and he busted out the drum and started chanting and talking about the Bhagavad Gita and then proceeded to kick our butts in time with some great beats and I left dripping in sweat and happily wrung out....I knew I was home. Alex and Terri, who own YoYoYogi, have both practiced with many of the teachers and colleagues dearest to me: folks like Rusty Wells, and Andrea Maltzer, and MC Yogi and Amanda Giacomini. I loved that they already knew and loved the same people I did. I love being in the Pearl District and feeling the twinkly buzz of urbanity as I head to teach in the evenings. And the students at YoYo are awesome: so hungry for a strong practice, and ready to breathe, and sing, and laugh, and take another vinyasa.

I am grateful.

We are a little under the weather this week. Poor Duke has his first double ear infection. This is a first for us, period; we've been lucky to avoid much of any illness (knock on wood). Props to the Internetz for natural home remedies out the wazoo. We are full-on in the hot rice sock compress and garlic oil in the ears and all of it. Love feeling so self-sufficient. And love having a pediatrician who sends me to New Seasons for kids' herbal garlic oil instead of scribbling out a prescription for antibiotics right away. Duke is chirpy and playful and on the mend.

This photo is so dear to me. It's from last Friday, a cool wet rainy day. If I had to choose one photo that represents what the last 19 months have meant for my life, it's this. My sweet snuggly boy who only and ever wants to be connected when he sleeps. At first it drove me crazy. I couldn't use his nap time to get up and run around and do yoga and get shit done. Made me cranky and impatient and irritable. I was jealous of all the people whose kids are natural sleepers, those mythical babies who, from the get-go, just lay down happily on their backs and pass out. Not my kid. Nope.

And I resisted. Which got me, of course, absolutely nowhere.

But he learned. And things changed. As they always do, of course. And now little man will sleep by himself, not needing that permanent body heat, that perpetual skin-on-skin connection that reminds him that he's safe and cared for and won't get eaten by a tiger or some other deep evolutionary mammalian fear.

So the times we curl up and snooze are sweet. And fleeting. And, as the yogis say, of course, they are my great teacher. Teaching me to appreciate what is while it still is. Teaching me to actually slow down, to drop the agenda, to taste this brief season of my life before it passes. Before he's a deep-voiced 6-foot giant wearing basketball shoes who doesn't want to hug his mother goodbye.

Looking forward to seeing many of you California-types for our Point Reyes retreat on the 24th. We still have space left in the studio if you want to jump in for a day of hiking, farmers markets, and yoga. Love to squeeze you in the few minutes while we're in the 415.

Much love from the Pacific Northwest.


Sparkula said…
Please let your SF friends know we will take very good care of you here. Promise.
Marco Lazzeri said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marco Lazzeri said…
Loved it! Thank you for another gracious update Rachel : ) I miss you like crazy
ms marshall said…
Hi Rachel...if you haven't discovered Herbs for Kids (@ Whole Foods), they were a life saver for me!!! Ear oils, calming tinctures, cough syrups....from one (former) Waldork mum to another (or as my son started saying to me in grade 6: thanks for making me Amish mom).

Xo, Kamala
Jane said…
Thanks Rachel ... always a delight to read your blog see you and your gorgeous family and hear your news.
You write so beautifully. sending huge love from UK xxx
Kasandra said…
There's something immediately dignified about this venue - it is beautifully designed, tasteful, and understated. Went to these comfy party venues recently, just the right temperature, good food and great experience.

Popular Posts