Seattle, I love you...

Ahhh, Seattle, that magical place where seagulls swoop through soft rain, fish and chips are a staple, bicyclists fearlessly master hills, and the smell of coffee permeates the air. It only took a few hours for Seattle to sneak it's way into my heart. I was in town to look at a graduate school (more about that later) and my sisters and father decided to join me. After hours of turbulence and screaming kids, we safely landed in SEA.

Our first stop was the Public Market. It's a must see destination full of a barrage of smells and sounds. After rambling helplessly around the market, we decided to try the famed Lowell's Restaurant and Bar. A bowl of salmon and bacon chowder later, and I am ready to curl up and nap. This city is a food-lover's heaven. I applaud you Seattle. 

A couple months ago a friend introduced me to The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology. I quickly applied and on Saturday visited the campus for the first time. I have had this saying echoing in the corners of my soul for quite a while, I wasn't sure why. After Saturday I knew that it was entirely possible to be "homesick for a place I have not known." In a few weeks I will know if home is what I will call Seattle- fingers crossed that it will be. I've noticed this trend in my life to go all out for things I want. Sometimes that leads me down roads I wished I hadn't traveled. And at the end of each road I wonder when I will find one that leads to a place that feels like home. The red brick building has a strange presence, one of belonging, one of seeking, one of home. 

My last day exploring with the family led us to the coast. Victrola coffee fueled our roadtrip. As I drooled over the mahogany handled custom espresso machine, the barista poured an incredible latte. Snow, rain, and more snow and rain dampened our journey- but the sun decided to greet us at the sea. I do not think I have ever seen trees such as the massive, moss covered beauties that graced the landscape. Cape Disappointment was glorious and I was struck by the power of nature and its ability to make chaos so lovely. Here's a little gallery of the day:

Upon our late return to the city, I was moved in a bittersweet way, to see the Space Needle flying the French flag. There is a great tension between feeling solidarity and despair. I will save that for a later post. The next morning, I found myself in an interview discussing that very tension. It was beautiful to be invited into vulnerable community.

Four days was not nearly enough time to explore. I hope to spend a good deal of time in the Pacific Northwest in the near future. I will leave you with a poem I wrote crossing over the Columbia River. It conveys my feelings far more than these letters I have typed here.  

The soft evening sun glittered
On newly damp autumn leaves
Muting the fire-y colors
The pastel clouds encircled the valley
Turning the entire scene into a painting.

We crossed the Columbia
On those green tinted bridges.
The sun slowly ushering our return
To the city I may call home.

Once upon a time,
A saying nestled itself into the recesses of my mind- haunting my soul.
What if I’m homesick for a place
I’ve never been?
A space unlimited by my knowledge of it.
What if home is longing for a world where you are meant to be-
Not a place you have been?

I think-
I know this to be true now.
My heart grasps at the answer
Home is a feeling.
It’s a place
As in the space
Where we can be
The only us we
are meant to be

These autumn leaves,
Among pacific evergreens,
Reveal to me
The space of all my longing-
The place where I might
Encounter who I intend to be.

Further Up and Further In my friends.