Today's earlier post got me thinking... I'm thankful that I live in a beautiful place.
When Paul was still in Iraq, we had planned to live in Snohomish, and when the Army changed our plans for us, we considered Edmonds, Lynnwood, Kent and every town in between. I would have been fine with any of these places, but deep down I felt a little twinge.
I'm an island girl. I'm happiest knee deep in waves, or walking through cool, old growth forest, where the suns rays barely filter through the dense branches. I feel most free when I'm standing on the edge of a bluff, face to the wind, gazing out over the Salish Sea and imagining eternity, or peering over the edge of a pier at the oblivious starfish and tiny minnows. I suffer from inland clausterphobia; the feeling that you're hemmed in by land and have no escape route. Believe me, you have to be an islander to know (and please, no snotty comments about how the only reason people live on islands is because no one else wants to live with them).
The thought of traffic and concrete and commutes and big box retail chains and complicated intersections made me nervous. I knew I could adjust, but at what cost? I didn't want to live in a city, or even a large town.
Then, as often seems to happen, fate stepped in to rescue me. Through a very coordinated series of events, I find myself living in Port Orchard, and more specifically, Southworth. While it's not my island, it's remarkably close. My house is surrounded by sky-high cedars mixed with the bright green of leafy deciduous trees. From my deck I can hear the blast of the ferry horn and the barking of harbor seals. When the wind blows right, I can smell the harbor on the breeze. Granted, it doesn't smell like the island, but the base scent is the same. The end of my road literally dumps into the water (well, if you don't turn. A month or so ago, someone didn't), and this morning as I headed out to work I was greeted by the sun peeking up over west Seattle, casting lavendar and orange and pink streaks across the dark sky. And a mile or so down the road, I caught the same sight with the Space Needle in the foreground.
Leaving the island did not mean leaving behind my deep-rooted love for the wild beauty of the Pacific Northwest, and I am beyond relieved and thankful for that fact.
(Side note: Yesterday I was reading comments on news articles on kitsapsun.com, and South Kitsap people are just as crazy, ignorant and opinionated as north enders!)