Friday, September 20, 2013


despite their name, there's nothing expedient about the nightly bedtime ritual of the vaux swift.  the community of birds that descends each year upon portland during september spends a couple hours each night swarming and swooping, funneling above the old chimney of an elementary school in which they take up residence during their migration south to mexico.  they chirp, flap their wings, congress with their family, and take their sweet time tucking in as the last of the sunlight melts behind the west hills.

i wish i could fly to mexico each year to winter.

adam and i sat watching the show the other night with a chirruping gaggle of portlanders.  i turned to him and said, "don't you sometimes think it would be nice if we lived in a small town where there was nothing to do each night except go to town gatherings like this everyday.  like everyday in september we'd watch the swifts.  and then in october the pumpkin festival.  and november would bring the turkey convention."

there are certain things i do each night before bed.  brush my teeth.  wash my face.  think about what i could do to prepare for the next day and then not do anything but strip naked and get under the covers.

each year has its rituals.  christmas eve at embers.  the ice cream social on north mississippi avenue.  as many pilgrimages as possible to rooster rock during the summer.  and so very soon: spookitinis, the party that rob throws yearly, same time, same place, and one of my favorite parties of the year.

the only flight i may take during the year is through the seasons.  or through glasses of wine.  and though i enjoy adventure, i somehow always look forward to the ritual event, the unfailing community.  i want to be so comfortable and so predictable.

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