SEATTLE, Dec. 25 – IT’S CHRISTMAS DAY AND, unexpectedly, big, wet flakes of snow are falling; not sticking, but turning the sky into a curtain of white, through which I can see the silhouettes of pine trees and the grey, mysterious beginnings of the Sound.
To me – and to all my friends hovering around this point in life – the season is not the same as it once was. I suppose that’s nothing profound, but perhaps my deeper appreciation for spending time with family is. I feel more in touch with the fact that the years – and the Christmases – will come and go without cease until my life reaches its end, and that without significant effort on my part to pause and savor these more important moments, I will just be letting time wash over my oblivious soul.
As so last night, sitting next to the Christmas tree with my parents and the dogs – feeling as warm and happy as ever I have in 23 winters – I breathed in and out slowly, feeling the light and the air as they rose to the eaves, carrying with them a genuine spirit of the all the good times spent in that very room …
This trip I’ve been able to see home with honest eyes; not unsentimental, but also not with forced sentimentality. The streets that once seemed flooded wth memories now only have evaporating oily pools of them – every now and then a splash, and a smattering of the past.
As I walked along the boardwalk yesterday I saw the now vacant community store, the apartment where a friend once lived. In the crisp wind I saw the northwest, the clear waters and a sky unwittingly shifting between silver and blue. I saw the weathered edges of this familiar coast.
photo by Rakka.