Since we moved up here we have already made the beautiful drive between the Cities and Grand Marais two times. Every time we come over the hill and into Duluth, on our way north I get the same feeling in my stomach that I only get with two other cities. Flying up the gorge to the Portland Airport, any time I see the Manhattan skyline (from above or viewed distantly from Jersey), and now as I crest the hill into Duluth and get the first glimpse of Lake Superior…I feel like I’ve come home!
I think I probably couldn’t pick three different majestic views to summon this awe that comes from the core of my being but they all do it. The incredible peaks surrounding Portland, the majestic skyline of Manhattan as seen from afar, the enormity of Lake Superior stretched out before me with no end in sight…I guess maybe they all put me in my place in one way or another; make me realize how small I am and how much there is to remain in awe of. I just love that feeling.
I think I particularly love Duluth because the feeling of coming home is two-fold. When I was a little girl the town I grew up in was in a valley just south of Portland. We would often end up coming home from some adventure and be driving down the hill into Newberg late at night. Every time we began to crest the hill and turn the corner for our descent into town my nephews and I would play the same game… the winner was the person to triumphantly call out “I see the lights of Newberg” first.
Our small town grew as we did and it was incredible how it seemed every year the lights of Newberg were finding us up on the hill sooner and sooner. I still can’t drive into my town without thinking “I see the lights of Newberg”. It’s how we knew we were home, safe in our little valley cocoon. I feel so blessed to be back in a place that feels similar to that cocoon.
I also feel really lucky to be beginning to build a feeling of home and belonging for E. I’ve been really hoping that we made the right decision in coming here. That in 14 years she says jokingly, rather than hatefully, “I could have grown up in Manhattan and you brought me here.” These are the memories and feelings that give me hope that this was the right thing.
I feel good about E building her base in a place that can be hers, building her own history in a place filled with beauty and discovery rather than fitting into a mold history has dictated in an overpowering mecca.