12 September 2008

A bend in the Deschutes

Bend was our lunch stop today ... made all the better by a ladies room. The place Tal and I chose for a just-the-two-of-us lunch (yes, yet another meal) is shown here -- The Bend Brewing Company. The town has a burgeoning micro-brewery industry and if the High Desert Hefeweizen which I enjoyed with lunch is any indication of overall quality it's an industry that is going to last. Before reboarding the coach we strolled the park along the banks of the Deschutes, marveling at the city's summertime beauty.

We learned an anecdote about Bend today. It reveals something enticing about the human spirit, I think. The story goes that travelers west came to a bend in the Deschutes River, the easiest place to cross. Once safely on the western side they began the ascent out of the river valley. At one point in the trail, the last place the bend in the river was visible, they would turn around and issue a farewell. In the late 1800s, while settlers of what is now the city of Bend were negiotating from among several options what to name the town, the post office decided Farewell Bend was too long and shortened the winning name simply to Bend.

I know some would say that given the fate of Lot's wife, we ought never look back. Every time during my adult life that I've moved, I have taken a few minutes to walk back through the resident I was leaving -- including dorm rooms, remembering good and bad times. Each time I leave my parents' house, I look back to return their from-the-garage-door wave. Looking back doesn't necessarily entail getting stuck in the past or constitute some sort of failure. Sometimes it's a comfort and provides a way, the strength even, to get on with the journey at hand.

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