I was on the beach at sunset, sitting on driftwood with my daughter. The night was flawless, pink sky with a single twinkling star and a rising moon. Salt air and a ferry gracefully coming into the dock. I was suffused with love for Seattle. The bluest skies you’ve ever seen are in Seattle, says the song. Growing up in Alaska we visited my maternal grandparents in the Seattle area each summer. From the first time I saw the city, it had my heart. As a teenager I went to Tower Records in the U District one hot summer night. A man was playing the sax outside. The store was open until midnight. I felt exotic and alive. Years later, settled in Seattle, I feasted on the smorgasbord of everything—native Seattleite friends whose parents had impossibly lush, rich gardens. Cobblestone streets and secret swimming holes. Walking to the Market from Capitol Hill and watching the sun set on Lake Union from my hip mid century apartment in Wallingford. I was so proud of my return address: Seattle, WA.
I felt a rich connection to the sweet summer evening even as I felt squished out to the very corner of the city by all the change that has been rushing in these recent years. I told my daughter of a night when she was a baby. I missed the Bremerton ferry and drove all the way out to Fauntleroy on a night much like this one. The two of us waited for the ferry on the quiet dock. It was magical. Talking about that night I felt my throat swell with tears for my own old Seattle. I loved the city and I felt both in it and out of it in that moment, because it was there—on the beach—but so much of the city is cacophonous right now.