After The Smoke Clears: Re-Acquainting with an Old Friend

Page from my nature journal Watercolor and ink by Julianna Paradisi

Yesterday was the first of of nine that our air quality in Portland, Oregon fell from “hazardous” to “good,” and I could resume running. Not only had I not run in all of that time, but I hadn’t been outdoors except for brief moments on our deck. It was delightful, running along the Willamette River; like getting re-acquainted with an old friend.

On the westside, through Waterfront Park, I found a dead crow in the grass. He’d been there awhile-flies gathered. Crows are a spirit animal for me-I said a prayer for him.

One of the oak trees had split off a very large branch. Yellow tape warned people to stay away from the tree. Nearby, a squirrel was busy burying acorns for the winter.