It has arrived. My final day at SOLV, my final days as a Jesuit Volunteer in the great Pacific Northwest. How did this happen, I ask myself, when it was only last week that we arrived at orientation in Molalla? Oh yes, that’s right.. its all coming back to me now.
During this year, I have met some of the most wonderful, passionate and empowering people I will ever meet in my life and I am forever changed by the experiences and conversations I shared with them. I moved into a house in Hillsboro with six strangers who are now family to me and will always have a place in my heart, no matter where our next adventures take us. Though not without its challenges, this year has been one of the most meaningful and difficult things I have ever done and has made me realize how much more growing I will do throughout my life.
This year, I biked, I canoed, I baked, I cried, I yelled, I retreated, I sang, I danced, I danced again, I loved, I lost, I created, I painted, I drove, I planted, I uprooted, I flew, I ran, I walked, I dreamed, I talked, I stayed silent, I protested, I believed, I carried, I learned, I listened, I travelled. There is so much in this life I am thankful for and blessed with; Oregon will always be a place I call home and the relationships I have cultivated here will sustain me for many years to come.
Thank you for staying with me throughout this year, I hope you’ll stay awhile for the rest of the journey. My brother and dad arrive in Oregon today and we leave tomorrow on our version of a great American road trip back east, take a peek back and see what we find. Many blessings to you always, my dear friends, and I wish you peace and wonder on your own adventure.