Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The West Wind


Photo courtesy Flickr

Saturday was a perfect Seattle summer morning, about fifty-five degrees with low overcast and a light wind that carried the smell of the woods into town. Blocks from high-rise office buildings, I knocked out a post in civilized comfort, feeling as if I were perched near a favorite river campsite. The crow stopped by to say hello through an open second story window.

When I moved to this neighborhood, the first thing I learned was to rise early. Working briefly as a traffic engineer had taught me to observe patterns of behavior. It didn’t take more than a week to realize that once the sun was high and the hipsters were out of bed, the pedestrian scene on the busiest street was too edgy for my taste.

At eighteen, I did a little snorkeling in the Virgin Islands. Visiting fish on their home turf turned Rachel Carson’s Sea Around Us into a living reality. Broadway's a reef. Living happily in its environs is a matter of being aware of who’s out and about at any given time. Sooner or later, it seems, the whole world strolls past, each person with something to teach. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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