The Sun Break Season : Talking Plants Blog After my dog ran away, my house was broken into, my water heater burst and a flu invaded my body, I'm still willing to believe in autumn foliage as its backlit by a Northwest sun.
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The Sun Break Season

Election Day 2008 and the city of Portland feels particularly benevolent today. The sun broke through an hour ago after a long hiatus and is now illuminating the considerable remains of what's been an autumn worthy of the name.

The mood here at my coffee house feels friendlier and more buoyant this morning; here in this bubble, there was never any contest how this town was going to vote. This state, either (as viewed from this bubble, that is). After considerable eavesdropping, I can't say anyone's talking about the election, but I would like to think all my ersatz young office mates are intensely aware of what hangs in the balance.

Anyway, enough stalling. On the outside chance that you've noticed, I've been gone more than a week.

What with my beagle's week-long disappearance, then -- three days later -- the burglary at my house (the dogs and I were sleeping at a friend's) and the unrelated but simultaneous burst of my water heater (a day after I'd moved my entire downtown office into my basement) followed in lock step by the inevitable invasion of my body by a vicious flu that has yet to release me, I've been AWOL from Talking Plants.

But I've a new lease today, in no small way due to this morning's sun break, which shines all that much brighter in a soothing (fine then, gray) climate like ours. And when that light illuminates the leaves of maples, stewartias, euonymous and aronia, you wonder why we're not all walking around dumbstruck by the inherent beauty of this world.

So here's my own campaign promise, before the votes are counted: join me tomorrow for an exclusive tour of one of Portland's finest private gardens and I guarantee -- whatever the outcome of the election! -- an invitation of limitless faith.

Go ahead, you skeptics, Google the Platt Garden! I guarantee you won't find another candidate who's got what I got for you...