I Belong with the Salt and the Sea
Almost immediately after Kate and I arrived in Portland after five days of nonstop driving, we began ravaging our new city for a place to call home. It took about four days of phone calls, emails, and walk throughs to fry our brains, so we decided to take one afternoon of leisure before continuing our search. And so we drove 84 miles west to Cannon Beach in pursuit of nothing more than a few hours to breathe a little more easily.
The road to the coast was long and winding; it took us through downtown Portland and west over the mountains. It was everything I imagined the Pacific Northwest would be, but better because it was real – the towering trees a shade of green richer than I'd ever seen, the mountains rolling on and on toward the horizon. This is all it took for me to know that I would fall in love with the Pacific Northwest. As we approached the coast, we could feel the crisp mountain air melting away behind us. With each inhale, we felt the air become heavy with the sea. And then we could hear the ocean; we could hear the unmistakable sound of the waves crashing into the towering rocks that sat just off the shore.
It was 60 degrees and sunny at the beach, and while everyone was wandering about in their winter jackets and lamenting the cold, Kate and I were perfectly comfortable in just our sweaters. We spent a few moments chuckling quietly amongst ourselves about how ill-equipped for the cold everyone seemed. We spent some time watching people coming and going and enjoying what would be one of the last of the warmer days before winter's cold sting swept over the northwest.
As the hours passed, the sun began to inch toward the horizon and everything became a little bit more saturated with an orange hue. With it came an unspoken knowing that dusk was now inevitable. The crowed at the beach slowly thinned out and everything became quieter, softer even. With 84 more miles to drive, we said our silent farewells and moseyed our way to a quaint little restaurant before starting our journey back home.
The return home was quiet; you could hear little more than the soft hum of the car stereo intertwined with the whir of the engine propelling us east into the night. There was a mutual understanding between Kate and I that this was exactly what we needed to ease our minds of the looming possibility of homelessness. The sky brightened little by little as we approached Portland and the city lights created a subtle luminescent dome over the city. This was our light at the end of the tunnel. This was our promise of a new home.