Council Crest

It was December 6, 1997. I had lost my job. I was 42 years old and didn't know where to go. It was a bad day. Working for but another firm and doing work far below my potential again was hard to come to grips with. I had even done career counseling and even thought about leaving my true love, architecture, a field I was perfectly suited for. For some reason, despite a great education and experience, I couldn't do the work I dreamed of doing. I wasn't challenged. I made it through the afternoon and eve, had dinner with my son and wife and went to  bed, unsure and perplexed.


The next morning, I woke up at 5:30, pulled on some clothes, and walked up to Council Crest. It was a beautiful morning, the sun was just rising behind to Mt. Hood, the sky a symphony of purples and oranges and blues. The wind blew through the tall fir trees that framed the mountain view. Aside from the sound of the trees in the wind, the place was quiet. And powerful. I stood on the grass and looked east and it gave me great strength. This was Oregon, and anything was possible. This place, Council Crest epitomized Oregon. It was vast, endless, strengthening. I breathed in deeply and looked to the mountain again. And then I said: 'I'm going to go for it'. I couldn't believe after 12 years I could say these words, but I said it with such conviction. 'I am going to start my own firm from thin air. I am going to go down into my basement right after this and craft a vision and develop a plan to succeed and never work for anyone again. I am better than they think, and I need to prove it with action. I am determined to make this work.'  I looked around the Crest. To the circle. To the paths. To the forest. And out to the spectacular view east and north and south. I was on top of the City. And I took great strength from this place, Council Crest, and it showed me the way that I had not seen before.




by Stuart Emmons

The Oregonian Blog, May 13, 2008