June 16, 2007

no work and all play

There was a time when meadow, grove, and stream
The earth, and every common sight,
To me did seem
Apparell'd in celestial light,
The glory and the freshness of a dream . . .
~William Wordsworth
today was a vision, a prescient slice of life exactly as it should be. I haven't worked since Wednesday (thank heavens for paid vacation). While Thursday and Friday were wonderful, it wasn't until today that i finally reached 'me' time--time that i discover accidentally, the places i visit unexpectedly and the sights that surprise me.

it started out innocently enough~taking a back road through juanita to downtown kirkland, i realized i was STARVING and remembered a little local joint called spuds tucked away off the main road that served the best fish'n chips i've ever had. tickled that i even remembered it (does that mean i'm starting to get the feel for this area??) i stopped in, braved the line of locals and dove in. while i was munching on deep-fried cod (with vinegar, no less--brilliant! i'd missed out on this treat until spuds) and contemplating the scenery, i realized i was right next to juanita beach. while rain clouds were glowering in, i pulled on my hoody like any resilient seattlite and decided to walk over there and check it out. turns out there's this lovely walkway that stretches out over the bay and encloses a calm water swimming area. how peaceful it felt to walk all the way out there and lose all sounds except the lapping of waves against the pilings and the wind in my hair; all cares seemed far away and there existed nothing but that moment, that stillness, the realization that this is NOW and i am here. all too soon the briskness of the wind drove me back to dry land and on my way.

thinking that i'd had my moment, i was unprepared for yet a second one that day. no less than 2 blocks later i saw another park. still under the influence of unexpected spontaneity, i decided to pull over again--my errands would wait. this was even better, if that's possible. juanita bay park: used to be a little golf course in the '20s where you could golf for a quarter and ladies golfed free on mondays, the wetlands reclaimed the lower part of the course (and gophers the upper part, judging by the mounds of fresh dirt all over the lawn). the city of kirkland had converted the golf course into a beautiful walking park with benches scattered here and there on the gentle rise of berms and walkways meandering through weeping willows and open greens. boardwalks traverse the wetlands, taking the wanderer deeper into the willows, cattails, blackberry brambles and ferns. at the viewpoint at the end of one branch a single heron sat amid lily pads in quiet solitude. a duck, undisturbed by my quiet approach, continued to preen on the railing next to me while i watched little turtles 'sun' themselves on a log nearby (no matter that the sun was hidden behind a dark gray mass of clouds). the ominous clouds imparted a certain sense of recklessness--if it decided to rain, i would be well-drenched and very cold by the time i made it back to the main part of the park, let alone my car and shelter; instead, my defiance of the threat overhead only increased my solitude and increasing serenity. here, for the second time today, i was truly present and well-rewarded for my stillness.

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