There are certain mornings I deeply miss riding the bus. It may be warmer in my car, but there’s a wakefulness to the cold walk and steaming air that isn’t entirely unpleasant. It isn’t the foot-stomping huddle of people that I miss though, it’s the ability to keep my eyes fixed on the horizon rather than the road in front of me.
Seattle seems to have finally shouldered her winter coat. The temperature is dropping and snow keeps falling at higher elevations. A thin sheet of ice coats the leaf debris clinging to the curb and that pesky warning light on my dashboard keeps flashing back on. (It’s something to do with the cold, not a lack of safety—when she starts warm there’s no light. In the cold, there is. I’m not good with cars, even my beloved Greta.) Today pinks and purples hung low in the sky, and as soon as I took the curve down 46th to Leary I gasped. It’s the mountains. The mountains. Shimmering with the deep blue of distance and white of new snow, they caught the colors of sunrise as the sun crept up for one of the last days of 2014.
It’s been a year. I’m not ending it where I thought I would be and last night I spent most of the evening falling off of climbs instead of getting up anything. Still, there’s a certain grace to falling, and I think I’m getting better at it. Or at least, more comfortable with the idea of it. I’m talking literally, but I mean it in more ways than crashing onto a bouldering mat. Though I mean that, too. After a little over a year, my apartment is finally feeling like a home that belongs to me. I have too many scented candles and a record player and radio that are finally hooked up. I’m starting to get nice wine glasses. I have a dog bowl for my house guests and spare bedding for friends. My cast iron collection is growing and continues to be well seasoned. My books are organized by subject then alphabetical order. My game collection keeps growing. These are all objects, yes, but they are important ones. It is home, not just a place I’m staying until real life starts.
Alone, in my car, I talk to the sky. It hurts sometimes, in its beauty. I’ve always thought of beauty as something edged and sharp. Pretty is softness but beauty has an element of danger to it. Another body was found on Rainer this morning. The clouds, as they turn colors, are not just swatches of paint. My body aches from last night’s gym session, I feel clunky, my fingers are cold on Greta’s wheel. Hello, beautiful city, ringed in mountains. The ship canal as I cross the bridge is still but shimmering, cut with reflections of boat hulls and rigging. The sun is up a little higher, a bright blaze. By the time I write this everything has dulled into daylight and the pale winter sky. Did you see the sunrise this morning? If I can show you the right glimpse, you’ll see why I love this place, you’ll fall in love too.
[I have no photographs to share with this– nothing gets the whole thing in the right way.]