Wednesday, June 22, 2011


The day that just ended in North America was the longest that 2011 will see. Everett is the second farthest north I've ever been on the June solstice (after Edinburgh, Scotland, and just a few minutes north of Kent, Washington), and the sunset and twilight moved in slow motion while a few scattered sheets of clouds coalesced and abated.

There's really too much going on in a sunset like the one Puget Sound saw an hour and a half ago to take it all in at once. You can focus for a moment on the pinkness of the coulds, the gentleness of the breeze, the tallness of the evergreens, but it all hits gridlock just past the optic nerve. I drove north after getting off work, because I can and because I wanted to see what was there, and I stopped to walk around a park in northern Everett. Later I drove toward Snohomish, the mountains by Boulder Creek rising and falling in great sighs of the landscape with each valley and peak on highway 2. It's a joy to be able to wander like this, so free, with so much to take in. Of course, the contemplation is only for a little while. I tell myself I'd love to just gaze at the waves on the sound and hear the crackle of the crows, but there's work tomorrow, and a bed I'm paying too much for on the other side of the Mukilteo freeway.

The beauty of it all is always there, though, even when it's foggy and raining and my mind is trudging through the muck of chores and criticism that always follows. It's a hollow thing to say that we should all try to just see this simple elegance in everything more often, but it's true. I still wonder how as the days begin to grow shorter.

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