it’s true. we said farewell to our beloved bend this past week. it blows my mind how quickly time went while we were there and also how that place felt like home so quickly. no, not even close to our grand rapids home, but it felt right.
chris and i were reflecting on our summer and how it’s been two months since we’ve lived in our house, three months since our first wedding anniversary, and a world of craziness since then.
i think bend became a refuge for us. after trying to “travel” for so many months, talking with recruiters, figuring out logistics, and finally just leaving, bend felt right. yes, it’s extremely gentrified. if you don’t like the outdoors or beer, there’s not a ton for you to do. and it’s small. but it represented something huge for me.
in bend, i learned to explore again. i played in the rivers, hiked up the mountains, sat in hot springs, and took bike rides just because. in bend, i learned to live with people as a married person. i had roommates who were awesome, shared the chicken’s eggs, and lived in the same space well. they became friends. in bend, i learned that quiet time is quite alright. on the days when chris worked, i worked but also had time to be. i read, i walked along the river, i daydreamed, and i thought and sorted through a lot in my brain.
it felt healthy in bend. we were insanely active, the air was clean and cars stopped for you to walk across the street even if you weren’t in a cross walk. we made routines, established our “spots” and built some relationships.
we also missed grand rapids, missed our people and missed the events that were happening. but we were in bend. we went where we felt called and it was good. it was the gift of time, of beauty, and of exploration; both internally and outside.
i am so grateful for bend, for what it helped me think through, for the beauty it showed me, and what it gave to our marriage. will we be back? i hope so.
but for now i look ahead. we’re in a big city, people don’t stop all the time, there’s diversity. and now san francisco has something to offer. it will look very different from bend, but i’m open to receiving whatever it has for us.