One of the things I love about Portland it its bridges. I love coming around the curve on I-5, just after I-405 splits off and takes you over the Fremont Bridge, and you can see all the bridges lined up, ready to take you from the east side of the Willamette to the west.
This morning on the bus, even before seeing the Fremont, Broadway, Steel, Burnside, Morrison, Hawthorne, Marquam, and Ross Island Bridges lined up like a welcoming committee, ready to wish me a lovely day in Portland, I happened to look up as we crossed the Columbia River via the Interstate Bridge from Washington to Oregon. Through the green I-beams I could see the silhouette of Mt. Hood back lit by this morning's sunrise. It left me speechless, not that I'm one to chat up folks on the bus, but you get the idea. I wanted to stop the bus. I wanted to ask every rider to put away their books, morning sudoku, daily crossword or paper and just LOOK. I wanted to remind them to take a deep breath and forget about what was ahead and simply enjoy the subtle changes in the pinks and oranges, to appreciate the contrast between the dark navy of the mountain and the clouds and the rich golds, pinks and blues.
As the bus rounded that favorite corner of my and proceeded along the east side of the Willamette to the Marquam Bridge I found myself searching for one last glimpse of the mountain, one last reminder that today was about more than my to-do list. But the sky was dark, and the clouds that had framed the mountain now shielded it, making me all the more grateful for the short time I was allowed to enjoy something so jaw-droppingly, mouth-shuttingly, totally-forget-your-morning-routiningly beautiful.