The sun has come, the mists have gone

Bryan's cloud pic resizeOr so we had hoped. Upon arriving at the airport in Portland, we found the weather to be a brisk 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Those of us retrieved by Daniel discovered the beauty of Portland’s highly developed public transit system, while those of us escorted to the dorms by Liz discovered the beauty of Portland’s downtown. Both Liz and Daniel, however, were kind enough to elucidate the term for this considerably cold weather: Junuary (that is “June” + “January”). It is an atypically rainy, brisk time of year, vaguely reminiscent of January in Portland.

Irrespective of the weather, Mt. Hood’s visage has not been entirely eclipsed from view, and the few students bold enough to venture to the recreational edifices in the first week found that the second floor provided a perfect vista of the mountain’s summit. It is indeed a breathtaking sight, although somewhat unnerving as we prepare to hike its lower portion this Sunday—given that our sartorial decisions were not tailored to the current snow cover.

Although the first few days may have proven gray, our spirits have taken an ever-increasing pleasure at the new sights, sounds, and smells (oh, the food trucks!) of the city we shall call home for the next eight weeks. Our walking tour of the city this past Sunday commenced and closed at the famous Voodoo Donuts—a sure scent to remember. We walked along the riverbank, saw the world’s smallest city park, and were privy to the statue whose picture shall never grace the pages of the internet so long as her designer survives (and whose title is the namesake for the popular show, Portlandia). On our own time, we discovered the farmers’ market that takes place just across the way from Portland State University (our residence), in the ever-verdant Park Blocks of SW Portland.

Bryan PSU ResizeAt work, we found that our jobs are equal parts thrilling and educative. Few of us have been placed into a position with which we had great familiarity before. Attorneys have exposed both me and Lindsey to so many cases and law subsections that we may otherwise have drowned in paperwork were it not for their kind summaries; Bryan has discovered a world of trees that he perhaps never knew was so diverse; Alison, along with all her experience at the growing Duke Farm, has learned even more about the harvesting of edibles. Our other fellow students have learned just as much if not more in their positions as well.

If you would like to hear about each person’s position, you can click here to go to their profiles.

Today’s title comes from Maya Angelou’s “In and Out of Time:”

The sun has come.
The mist has gone.
We see in the distance…
our long way home.
I was always yours to have.
You were always mine.

We have loved each other in and out of time.

When the first stone looked up at the blazing sun
and the first tree struggled up from the forest floor
I had always loved you more.
You freed your braids…
gave your hair to the breeze.
It hummed like a hive of honey bees.
I reached in the mass for the sweet honey comb there….
Mmmm…God how I love your hair.

You saw me bludgeoned by circumstance.
Lost, injured, hurt by chance.
I screamed to the heavens….loudly screamed….
Trying to change our nightmares into dreams…

The sun has come.
The mist has gone.
We see in the distance our long way home.
I was always yours to have.
You were always mine.
We have loved each other in and out
in and out
in and out
of time.


3 thoughts on “The sun has come, the mists have gone

  1. Sorry that the weather hasn’t been cooperative! Make sure you check out as many food trucks as possible. When I went on this trip a few years ago we made an excel document to rank all of the food trucks we tried. We kept track of price, how environmentally-friendly the packaging was, how quick the service was, etc. It was a lot of fun!


  2. Hi Duke Engage Portland folks!

    I was asked by the Duke Reader project to follow your blog and add some comments throughout the summer. I am a (fairly) recent grad from the class of 2013. I studied environmental science and earth and ocean science – I see from your bios that a few of you did too! I now work in Redding, California, which I like to think of as the southern extreme of the pacific northwest.

    I am excited to read about your explorations of the myriad things that Portland has to offer – food, coffee, sustainable alternatives, mountains. I work in the southern portion of the cascade mountain range, to which mt. hood belongs – I know that landscape can be intimidating, but it is well worth spending some time getting to know (even if your sartorial options are not quite perfect).

    Looking forward to hearing more about your time in the PNW!


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