Friday, January 15, 2016

Standing on the deck

I am enthralled with the water.

Standing on the deck, I can look out over Burrows Bay to the Olympic mountains, Burrows Island, a marina, a state park with a peekaboo view of Lopez Island. But my eyes are drawn downward to the water itself, this ever moving, fluid body that can go from glass to white caps in what seems like a blink of an eye. One day it is a lake, the next I have waves crashing to shore. Shorebirds are scattered across the surface, diving, flying, fishing. A heron likes to stand on a lone rock that emerges as the tide withdraws.

It is at night right now, when the lowest tide of the day happens, that a completely different world is revealed. A long spit of beach appears. The water retreats back towards the channel and I can see just how shallow this part of the bay is. The light of the moon reflects off the dark masses of exposed tidal land and I feel impatient to see this in the day, when I can put on my mud boots and go wander down among the rocks.

I leave the window open at night just to hear the waves coming to shore. Depending on the weather, it is either a cacophony of stormy confusion or a rhythmic lullaby.

Logs came ashore yesterday. Today they are gone. The tidal difference is close to 9 feet in a given day.

I feel enchanted, mesmerized. I find myself standing at windows, tasks left where I dropped them.
As this new house fills with our belongings, I am almost startled to keep realizing that this is my new home.

What does it mean to live somewhere that captures your imagination everywhere you look?

I don't quite know what this new world means in relationship to my old world. That might sound a little over the top but I'm beginning to realize that Andy and I have put in motion a transition that will change so many different aspects of our lives. I suspected before, now I know.

We have so many dear friends and family who have moved all over the world in pursuit of careers, adventure, better housing options. They visit family across the country, build new networks wherever they are living, and keep in contact with old communities via Skype, Facebook and email. We haven't moved all that far from the communities of family, friends, and profession that have been ours for the past 20 years - and it still feels like a major step away to move 90 miles north. I'm coming to realize that this step has more to do with leaving behind the suburbs of Seattle - a life we chose to raise our family.

That's the difference I feel as I lean on the railing of the deck, once again contemplating the swells coming up from the Strait of Juan de Fuca. I've moved to a small town that is not a bedroom community for a major metropolitan area. There is one Starbucks coffee shop. For anyone who lives in Washington, you know that means small town. There aren't any big box retail stores within the city limits - that's a half hour drive to Burlington. I've left the suburbs where access meant everything - schools, soccer fields, 24/7 grocery stores and strip malls. Great restaurants, theater, shows.

But not this beach.

I don't know what new opportunities wait for me here. Is there work here? Projects that will entice me off this deck? I hope a few months. Right now, I'm content to keep unpacking all the physical and psychic baggage that I've brought with me. A friend had the perfect metaphor - I'm walking into a new room (literally and figuratively) and the old decor doesn't work anymore. Some of it will find a way onto walls and shelves but it won't be used in the same way. I don't quite know what the new decor will be but whatever begins to align with this transition will have to include the rhythms of the sea.

No comments:

Post a Comment