Sunrise in Seattle A Memory from 2005

Posted by on Nov 20, 2010 in My Children | 0 comments

Always the mountain sits and waits, at times only the faintest memory of mountain, sketched in mist and clouds, floating like a magic city above the landscape, but always there, like faith or love, even when unseen…

I wake to the SOS sound of the vertical blinds in the apartment, blown by the fan’s breeze through the open patio door. Since I am cool, and it is July, I realize I have left Virginia far behind. A half moon shines redundantly in the half moon window above me. I rise and turn off the fan and step onto the balcony and into the early dawn of Seattle. I can’t quite see Rainier yet, but a ghostly outline tells me it is still where we left it at sundown last night. A long line of black mountains extends across the horizon, with a hint of gold promising the return of the sun is imminent. I close the door against the chill and dark and crawl back into my bed. It seems a time for sleeping, but I am unsuccessful in my attempt to doze again. My mind is filled with the impressions of last evening, a beautiful restaurant patio, the cool breeze, fabulous flowers, and the crisp, grapefruit scented wine we enjoyed on my arrival. Even the bus ride had seemed exotic, a quiet, clean, electric trip through a neighborhood of wedding cake houses, interspersed with terra cotta adobe and grey cement apartments, ornamented with plants, sculpture, and flowing wrought iron. I give up on sleep and attempt to make coffee, a Seattle religious ritual, but find myself puzzled by the electric bean grinder. I dress and step back out to the balcony where I enjoy the promise of the new day, watching as the mountain reappears, splashed with spots of gold and pink across it snowy face. Some lights blink on in the hillside windows of other early risers, and dawn slides down to Lake Washington, bringing its scattered sailboats to life. The seagulls have turned out for breakfast and sing their discordant squawks, complaining about their empty bellies. Jets soar high above, carrying sleepy people to distant, unknown destinies, reminding me that my time here is limited.

When I last visited the west coast, real life had seemed so far away, but now, with family sleeping cozy downstairs, I understand how this comfortable place can be home for them. I am content as I anticipate their awakening, knowing that love abides, solid as the mountain, seen or unseen

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