So I live in Portland, Oregon now.

First impressions have been simplistic, based on fleeting glimpses as I chase from item to item on my move-in task lists. This appears to be an artistic city, a city that cares about food, a young city with a very European feel. A public transportation city. A city colored green by parks and trees.

Parks everywhere in this city. Standing in one this afternoon, waiting for my Streetcar. Across the street from me is a strand of maples, and under the maples is a brick building with a cafe on the ground floor, and inside of this cafe a girl is sitting in the corner table. She’s facing away from the window. Bent over her book. Studying. That steep-angled September sun pouring in, turning her blond hair into strands of gold while maple leaves flutter by in the breeze.

There’s a moment every fall when summer capitulates. A cold wind that sends leaves flying and chills running up your spine. A sign: Winter is coming. It’s time to stop screwing around. It’s time to start squirreling away nuts.

I’ve reached that moment. It’s been six months making hay. Nonstop play – with plenty of work in between, but even the work has been play, done wildly and with abandon. It’s time to slow it down. Contemplate my losses and consolidate my gains.

Autumn in my new home. Portland, Oregon. Leaving behind all this doing, retracing towards being, and the return of the artistic mind…