Friday, September 21, 2018

Leaning tower of cedar


Sometimes we take for granted how seriously a city takes public safety. We can rail about shortcomings of a city, but we need to notice the good stuff, too. These pictures were taken very near my house. 

They are a testimony to my city's responsiveness when a formerly healthy looking tree toppled onto a local, city-owned trail.

Thank you, City of Bothell. First, you blocked off the trail so unwitting walkers and bikers wouldn't be traveling under the unstable tree's trajectory, and then you had the worst of it removed. Let's hope the remaining section is removed before it falls of its own accord. Between the lack of rain and summer heat, a great many of our local trees are stressed.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

The difference between NOTICING and SEEING

For almost a year, driving on the main drag between my house in Bothell and the three-mile-away "Town Center" (a charming, eclectic mini-mall) in Lake Forest Park, I've passed a sign announcing the office of  a psychic reader. The business is housed in what used to be a modest motel, now completely out of favor as a place to stay. The motel sagged into chronic "Vacancy" until one day it emerged as an affordable location for small businesses. It was with delight I noticed a spiritual advisor had taken up space there, and every time I passed the sign, I'd imagine maybe stopping one day to have my Tarot cards read. Believe it or not, having a Tarot reading is on my bucket list, but I'm just a little too chicken to actually do it.

When one of my sons was visiting this spring, we were driving to Town Center where he wanted to visit a fishing tackle store. He was looking out the passenger window, then began to chuckle as we passed the sign announcing the psychic reader's place of business in the converted motel. "What's funny?" I asked him.

"The sign . . .Spritual Advisor! That's hilarious. What--do you suppose--is a SPRIT-U-AL  Advisor?" he asked rhetorically. "How would that differ from a Spiritual Advisor?

I didn't believe him at first, thinking he'd misread it. But sure enough, closely noticed, it does indeed say "Spritual Advisor." And that just goes to show the difference between really seeing something--looking at it--and just vaguely noticing something.

I don't know anything about how the sign came to be, but now that I've seen it (thanks to my son), I think about the lesson it teaches me every time I travel that road. It's worth taking the time to really see what's out there instead of making assumptions based on a glance.  It's a great lesson in how to live the best life, isn't it?

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

I'm not sore about not soaring . . .

Yes, that is an eagle flying! I know, it's like
an inkspot here. . . pictures cannot do justice.
I live in the land of eagles. Until the past couple of years, there has been an active eagle's nest on my street, approximately one-and-a-half blocks from my house. The nest is still there, but there have been no hatchlings for several years, despite what appears to be a nesting couple that claim the nest each spring atop a tall Douglas fir. Nevertheless, everyone on my street takes pride in 'the eagle tree,' and we all spend a lot of time looking up when we're outside near the tree. We have quite a population of eagles in the surrounding neighborhood, and it's thrilling to see their incredibly impressive wingspans and the gorgous dive-and-glide they do with such apparent ease.
And yes, the eagle is on the tippy top of the tree

On Sunday morning this week I walked along a trail that skirts the edge of Lake Washington. I stopped at a lovely little park (Lyon Creek Waterfront Preserve), accessible only on foot ( huge NO PARKING signs greet the visitor, although there is one spot marked for Disabled--a nice touch). Walking to the end of a dock that extends into the lake, I sat down to enjoy the serene view. Within seconds, I became enchanted by two eagles overhead, flying, then landing, then taking off again, swooping, gliding and occasionally calling to each other. Sitting quietly on such a beautiful morning in such a lovely setting made me grateful to be alive and to have the use of legs that propel me along walking trails and shopping centers, move to music at the WMCA, push the pedals of my car, climb stairs to my loft where I write, etc. Legs are great, but maybe wings would be better.

No wonder I adore the notion and image of angels; soaring overhead without the need of friction or traction would be a divine way to move through the world. Wings are great, but only, only if I could have arms too. I don't want to be a bird, even one as magnificent as an eagle. I would never trade the pleasure that comes from cradling an infant, cuddling a child, hugging a friend, or embracing a beloved grandchild. 

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Farewell, Senator McCain

Not that it's unique to me, but in the past several days I've noticed a lot of flag poles I previously haven't thought much about--maybe never. The first one to give pause was at the park across the river from my home on Friday evening. The time was right around sunset, and I was facing northeast. There was no wind, although I scarcely need to mention that to anyone seeing the picutre. The flag at half-mast struck me as incredibly sad, a fitting feeling, given the occasion. Losing a true statesman in this era of insults and mean-spirited accusations feels devastating.

The second picture is from the Farmers Market in Lake Forest Park, a Sunday event I never miss if I possibly can help it. I approached the market from a different angle this morning, because I had taken my morning walk along the shoreline of Lake Washington before shopping. There was a slight breeze, and the glory of the flag, even at half-mast, struck me. Yes, we mourn the passing of a great man, but wouldn't he have wanted us to see 'Old Glory' flying in this perfect way? What a fitting tribute.