Tuesday, July 05, 2005

 

the sweetness of the rain

It finally rained here. Since the moment my plane touched down in Seattle, the sky has been wide and clear. Don’t misunderstand me—I love that open blue sky. But after all those beautiful overcast days in Sitka, I needed the rain. And all day today, the world was waiting for the clouds to converge together and pour open. Seattle is rarely muggy, unlike New York, which exudes muggy air like a sweaty man in a sauna. But today, Seattle was muggy. Tensed, waiting for the sky to split open. I felt like that too. I just haven’t left Sitka yet.

It's strange to be in such close physical proximity with people for two weeks, sharing the same experience, gawking at the beauty, and then watching everyone scatter. I'm not good at this.

I also miss the genuineness of everyone in Sitka. Last night, I went to some friends' house to watch the fireworks. I never make much of the Fourth of July, especially these days, when I’m not so thrilled with the current government. Instead of picnics and brandishing red white and blue, I like to spend that day doing as little as possible. Probably because I’m gathering myself after Sitka, wondering who I am now after such a wonderful dip in the warm ocean of love that is camp. I thought I would spend the entire evening by myself, writing and listening to music. But at the last moment, I decided to go to David and Dorothy’s, to the party at their condo at the top of Queen Anne hill. Some of my closest friends were there, and I loved being with them. But somehow, I just couldn't be there, fully.

Instead, I kept thinking about being in Centennial Hall, the curtains pulled back, eagles emerging from the mists surrounding the mountains. And Kari playing Bach on her cello, giving herself fully through her instrument, connecting with us deeply without words, without artifice.

And then I came back to fireworks, talk of the Iraq war, and just too many buildings below me.

I left early.

But by the end of the morning today, I felt better. I woke up and left my house immediately, without thinking, driving to Discovery Park, where I walked all last summer. Acres upon acres of forested land, opening to wide bluffs overlooking the water. Everything feels vast there. In a completely different way than Sitka vastness, but still vast. I took the Camelpak backpack I bought at REI yesterday (after my time in Sitka, I’m in hiking mode), loaded up with water, and my iPod loaded up with new songs. And I walked the loop trail, almost three miles of verdant spaces and dusty trails. It’s like being in the mountains, fifteen minutes away from my house. By the end of the hour, I had worked up a sweat in the humidity and a smile from being back in nature. I’m going back every morning now.

Because it finally hit me this morning—oh thank goodness, it’s summer vacation.

All day long, I’ve been working on a montage of images from camp. Every year I do this, offer these images to all the faculty members as a final gift of the camp. I’ve been putting off writing it for days, because finishing it means that camp is truly done. And I hate admitting that. But true happiness always comes from letting go. That opens up my life to the next great moment. Like writing this now.

And smelling the sweetness of the earth rise up in the rain. I can hear the cars splashing outside as I write this. The muggy hold on everything has loosened. It’s raining again. I’m back home now.

All my love,
Shauna

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