I woke up this morning to grey skies and drizzling rain, with wisps of a dream still tangled in my hair. In my sleep, I was back in Portland, during my high school years. It was a tour of my old patterns around Northwest, the neighborhood frozen as I knew it back in the mid-ninties. Off the freeway, down Vaughn Street, left on 25th. Around the green-planted traffic circles and right on Pettygrove Street. A dip into our driveway to turn around before coming to a stop along the stretch of curb that could only comfortably hold two cars if you parked consciously.
On Sunday, I attended a bridal shower brunch for a friend. Though I only knew a few of the attendees initially, there was something about the women that this friend had collected over the years that made us all instantly comfortable with one another. As we talked about marriage and the development of family life that comes when you partner up, I shared my struggles with Philadelphia.
I love this city passionately and have always felt deeply at home here. However, as I think towards the future and imagine a time where I might have babies, I long for something that looks like what I knew as a child. I don’t mean so much the green lushness of the Pacific Northwest, but more the many easy, close-in neighborhoods that Portland boasts. In Philly, you either live in the city, or the suburbs and there are miles to travel between the two.
I feel like last night’s dream was born out of this internal search I continue to tend. It reminded me of what I knew. Now I need to start dreaming of what will come next.