Living Summer

friends

Rick Steves says, “Travel is intensified living- maximum thrills per minute and one of the last great sources of legal adventure.”

I’ve already been striving intensely to gather in every bit of summer this year right here in the northwest. I take every opportunity to be outside. Rather than riding the train home from work, I’m biking the extra miles over a small mountain to be outside just a little longer, to feel the rush of the wind and the pull of gravity as I zoom down. 

bear grass

Hiking deep in the woods with my son in search of bear grass and wildflowers felt like a scene out of the Lord of the Rings. The adventure of just wandering for the sake of it was inspiring. ashore

My friend Sergei and I spent nearly every minute of the solstice out on the Columbia. We sailed up and down the river hooting with joy, attended a costumed wedding, and camped out on a deserted beach. Reaping the last bits of light combined with the feeling of the night air and the cool sand on my feet was a joy.

berries

I’ve tried capturing the physical form of summer by gathering 85 pounds of blueberries (I had some help), dozens of plums, baskets of blackberries, and scores of tomatoes. The flavors and smells of summer are fleeting and I can’t spend a day without experiencing them.

I’m sunburned, have calluses or blisters on my hands, and am a little sleep deprived, but I refuse to slow down. I feel like my real life, right here in Portland, is intensified living.

If that’s the case, when I actually go on vacation in August, I may burst.

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