Domestic Josh is in the kitchen and asks me what I'd like for breakfast. “Eggs and toast,” I say and he prepares them as I read a picture book to Finn who is still in his pajamas. Stacy and Nathan are already working on their laptops. Ezra is playing with his tech deck. Jenny comes out in her pajamas which look like a kimono to me. Right before we leave, I remember that I wanted to get a picture taken with each of the families, and so we stand outside, and Jenny takes one of Josh, Stacy, Ezra and me and Stacy takes one of Nathan, Jenny, Finn, and me. Jenny comments that she hasn't put on her day face, combed her hair, or changed out of her pajamas, but she looks great in the picture.
Josh, Ezra, and I drive into Eugene. Sun sturdily risen for the day, majestic buttes glowing blue in the distant horizon, the sky cerulean, the fields a mixture of green and gold. Josh drops Ezra off at his parents' house. Betty will watch her grandson for they day. Ezra gives me one of his tech decks, which is a sweet gesture of friendship. He wants to give me the coolest looking one with an elaborate spiral design, but I convince him to keep it.
Natasha and I leave for coffee and conversation before I depart on the shuttle back to Portland for my flight home. Caffeinated, I realize that I've left my cell phone at Betty's house, and at the same time, Betty calls Natasha to let her know. So we head back, I get my cell phone, and we say our goodbyes one more time. Natasha and I stop at the bookstore downtown. I buy a book, Being Zen by Ezra Bayda, which Waylon said he had read and liked.
It's what this entire journey has been about: being Zen. Where ever you go and what ever you do, you can do it with a Zen approach, you can be Zen. What does that mean? Mindful. What does mindful mean? Cultivating a sense of awareness, attentiveness, appreciation, and acceptance. Having a plan and changing your plan. Navigating the boat in the river of life and at the same time going with the flow of the current of reality. Smiling. Laughing. Feeling adventurous. Feeling content. Feeling the fear and doing it anyway. Feeling happy.
Natasha drives me to my pick up location. I take a picture of the two of us. We say and hug our good bye. We tell each other we love each other and then she tells me to chop wood, carry water, which are good last words to part on and so we do.
The wisdom of Zen is also about love. Loving people, loving yourself, loving your life, loving what you're doing. Traveling brings out love. We love being somewhere else. We love seeing new cities and new elements of nature. We love tasting new foods and drinking new wines and teas and coffees. We love learning new things about this wonderful world. We love the friends and family we visit. It was an amazing journey for me. A journey of love. I didn't expect that. It is, however, the emotion that emerges most readily when I remember and reflect upon my Oregon Journey.