Surf, sun & sand (sprinkled with doses of other stuff)

My weekend snapshots provide glimpses of attempts to soak up every second of this glorious season. (And not to boast too much, but these past days, I’d say I’ve been doing a pretty darn good job of it:))

You will see water (and more water! Pisces heaven), city skyline views, reunions with friends, lazy park sits, exquisite sunsets and sensational scenes that suggest that ALL is right in the world. I belly-laughed with an old friend as we caught up over a picnic on my favorite Seattle mound. (We got goosebumps as we witnessed a petal-strewn marriage proposal under a fire-streaked sky.) I rode my bike, carefree, down the canal trail; I wandered the Sunday market; I heard music from guitars and a violin and the nostalgic drone of bagpipes.

*Pause: I do think it is sometimes important, however, to acknowledge that these snapshots only tell part of the story. There is some danger in this odd existence where social media and the vetted-for-public versions of our daily lives prevail. Clearly, these pictures don’t capture a few weekend lowlights, like terrible Sunday morning listlessness and a serious WHAT-THE-EFF-Universe moment Friday afternoon that had my emotions running rampant and my mind/heart feeling lightyears away from Zen. Although these moments were brief in the grand scheme, they were real, and they stung…..Like Susannah cleverly confesses, we shouldn’t be fooled into thinking that others’ lives are always “all rainbows and unicorns over here” (despite what highlight-reel-recaps or colorful slideshows tend to suggest).

But the main point, I suppose, is that there WAS (and remains to be) so much amazingness, and this is where we must focus the lens. Sometimes it is too easy to get hung up on the hurt or the scared or the sad, or whatever threatens to plague. But, as always, I practice (and practice some more) shifting the emphasis. On bringing to light what is really, really great–on the billions of small (and big) ways I continue to be blessed.

On Saturday morning, I went paddle boarding (so fun!), where four of us drank in surreal mountain and lighthouse views. We spotted a regal blue heron, bobbing, iridescent jelly fish and a playful seal splashing his way across the sound. We saw a rainbow arch its way around the midday sun (so in this case, in that moment, it actually was all rainbows).

On the journey back to the shore, I really got in the groove-pushing meters ahead of my fellow paddlers-feeling steady and strong as I slid along atop the water. For a wee while there, I lost myself in the rhythm of my strokes, the repetitive swoosh of the oar, visions of hypnotic, dancing light beams below. Afterward, kissed with sun, plastered with seaweed and sprinkled with sand, we rewarded ourselves with JUICY Paseo Cuban pork sandwiches on picnic tables next to the bustling surf shop. Bliss. Like a child just in from a day at the beach, I felt tired and sore and joyful and alive. In moments like this: LIFE. IS. GOOD.

In between

When I first arrived in DC two weeks ago, I was half still here in Seattle/half there, happy happy happy to be home. Slowly, gradually, I morphed into being fully present there in the DC/VA scene, remembering the rhythm of that life and the rhythm of those people.

I even slid back into my old shoes, literally, finding myself (Twilight Zone-style) sitting at those very desks and typing on those very computers where I once worked for five years of my life. That temporary re-enactment was sometimes good, often stressful, mostly surreal and, above all, wonderful confirmation that I made the leap/change at the exact moment I should have. I am grateful to have been given that unexpected perspective. That gentle reassurance.

After a week of hard work, whirlwind social visits and too little sleep, I allowed myself to totally decompress for the second week I was home. I was lazy and indulgent. I fell back into old routines and old behaviors (admittedly, not all ones I’m 100% proud of…why does that inevitably happen? It frustrates me to no end.). I ate well and slept soundly and relished time with my beloved parents and friends (those who actually still live there, that is…I feel such a void when I walk around those city streets and remember the mass exodus that befell our tightly-knit crew this past spring/summer. It still makes my head spin, to be honest. ).

All last week, I was busy visiting and being visited. I was thrilled to see some people I care about thriving and sad/concerned to see others struggling. The only thing constant in life is change.

Now I am back in Seattle–happy to be here, but of course, missing those from home. Half here, half there.

Two homes. A blessing and a curse, at times.

I was greeted last night with open arms (and heaps of Thai noodles), and today I’m being productive and indulgent back in the coffee shop zone that now feels so familiar to me. Mostly, it feels really good to be here.