The days of vacation start early.
I think my body has trained itself to awaken before dawn as if to ask the question : how about an early hike up the mountain ? The answer this week will mostly be no. I may get a chance with Kelly’s oldest niece, but it isn’t yet a plan. I won’t insist, but I’m hopeful. She is all about experiencing life. It has been a delight getting to know these young women again. So much life ahead and for the next week I am staring down that path with them. Looking over a shoulder, mind you, but I can see it. And it is a beautiful thing.
Seattle is a place I love. Deeply love. I have had years of experience in the many corners of this city and I often have a flood of feelings when I’m there. It can be a smell or how the breeze is blowing in a swirl pattern through the trees in the square. It can be the whistle of a train or the buzz that IS the soundtrack of a bustling metropolis.
I used to work downtown back in my early cooking days. I’d catch the bus on 1st Ave to head home after a long day. I’ve been standing on a corner while a man peed against a paper box on one side as another man vomited in garbage on the other. I’ve been aggressively pan-handled and, once, I had a very very drunk woman come after me for “looking at her man”.
I drank in some of the best bars (and some of the absolute worst). I hung out after hours with some incredibly talented chefs and got to cook some exotic food. I had a love/hate relationship with the city back in those days.
Today, I was taken by the deep blue sky.
I tried to avert my eyes from the hard things. There are people living on these streets. They need baths and clothes and a soft, safe place to land at night. The majority will have none of those things. It hurts my heart. Under a cloudless blanket of deep blue, my heart aches. I have created a place inside to hold all of those feelings. It gets crowded in there sometimes. The feelings of hurt and loss can be like the Morning Glory that keeps creeping up through the porch. And I keep stuffing it back down into itself hoping if I just ignore it, it will go away. But I know better.
The good news is that there are days in Seattle that send that familiar rush of warm through me. Days where I can love even the hardest things. And days, like today, where it feels good to be alive and in the company of others who feel that way too.
People were wonderful today. Friendly, talkative and smiling. The pizza at DeLaurenti was it’s usual delicious. The Great Wheel was “good” but the carousel won the day. The Buddhist monk who gave me the prayer along with a bracelet stole my heart. I bought myself a necklace. A brass eraser. A reminder, really.
And I fell in love with that too.
Kelly is over the moon with her nieces here. She just beams and exudes something I can’t name, but haven’t seen for awhile. It is joyful time. And so, for as hard as I make my life sometimes, this is easy. These days of summer are effortless.
And I wish they were endless …