Explore your internal emotional landscape.
Searching for Hidden Streams
When the weather is like this in Portland – torrential rain and puddles that’ll drown a dachshund – it’s a unique opportunity to look for something that’s been lost. As our city was settled, many of the natural streams were shunted underground or destroyed altogether. With rain this hard, you can see puddles and flows forming in these “hidden streams.” When you splash through them, imagine a time when this land was covered in trees and industrious beavers; when walking down Broadway would have been more like a walk in Forest Park, all soggy and green.
Below is a zoomed-in map, courtesy of Metro, that shows where it’s believed those streams ran. Existing waterways are marked in purple, and the hidden streams are in red. Note how the west side has more visible streams, thanks to its steepness. Find your neighborhood and think about what might have flowed through it. If you want the full map, click here.
Find the hidden streams inside yourself
The hidden streams of Portland are like the human psyche; we have our own hidden streams within us. Our dreams, our forgotten memories, and our wounds have all shaped who we are, how we perceive the world, and how we interact with others. They carve their path through the surface of our selves.
Part of what we can do together in counseling is explore those hidden streams. We can divine their source, where they run, and how their flow may cause you distress. We can dig up the hidden streams that held your neglected hopes for yourself and work on steps to realize them.
Even if you don’t seek counseling, spend some time in the rain as the seasons change. Think about the landscape of our city 200 years ago. Think about what your internal landscape would look like if you could see your own hidden streams.