Friday, August 5, 2011
As I sat, pushed into a claustrophobic corner, up against a portal with its plastic eyelid half-closed, bouncing through the clouds above a quilt of civilization, a traffic jam of thoughts fought for my attention. My knees were jammed into the over sized magazine pocket in front of me, bulging like a stuffed pita with boring brochures, barf bags, and magazines dripping with banality, fit only for those sequestered into tiny places with no place else to rest their eyes.
My life was in the hands of a radio voice coming from behind a grey curtain as I rode a riveted metal bird invented years ago by dreamers. Yet, there I was, living that dream with all the enthusiasm of a commuter waiting in line at a red light. Ah me…another day of shooting over the country like a bolt of lightning emitting from the hand of Thor. The fact was, a week in Seattle just wasn’t enough.
Seattle’s landscape is seductive, with miles of curvy green hills alluringly posed along the horizon like Rembrandt’s Danae. Ragged cedars, dripping with moss, point their skeletal fingers in all directions, casting shadows and shafts of contrasting light onto the forest floor, invoking throaty visions of Stoker’s Dracula and romantic images of Lancelot and Guinevere.
And then there was Mount Rainier, regally wrapped in a white stole of glistening snow like a prominent lady whose amusement is to stand watch over her lowly subjects. Dominating the view, her beauty demands weak-kneed reverence, for as easily as she inspires worship, she also inspires fear, being one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world.
All this splendor and yet there was more…sipping a Caramel Frappuccino, purchased for me by the generous and amazing, Isla, at the original Star Bucks, located in the Pike Place Market; lying on a park bench squinting up through a leafy curtain at the Space Needle, eating Fish & Chips at Spud’s on the waterfront while greedy seagulls as big as toddlers stood sentinel hoping for a handout. Shopping at Archie McPhee’s for eccentric anomalies such as, Instant Underpants, (just add water and wait) and Crazy Cat Lady, Cat Food Scented Soap, while laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe.
These were some of the dits and dots of my vacation. But they are only the icing, because the cake was being with my lifelong friend, Fran, after a numbing thirty nine year separation. Imagine being separated from your best friend for that long without knowing if they were dead or alive, and then being reunited in such a beautiful place as Washington. So you see, words cannot describe the richness of such a meeting, therefore, I will have to leave it to your imagination. Suffice it to say that this was an amazing journey and a part of me will forever be settled into the foothills of Mount Rainier, sitting with Fran on his porch, watching the deer feed on August apples as the sun silently slips behind a bastion of trees.
Posted by Leah Griffith at 12:36 PM