Friday, December 5, 2008

The setting sun

I went on a short hike in Olympia with McHaley today. The trail wound down from a little parking lot just off the road to a rocky beach on the east side of a small cove along the Puget Sound. We were surrounded by lush vegetation and then all of a sudden - tada! Water. Beautiful water.

Looking to the right, the Olympic mountains loomed in the distance, craggy and snow stained. They do not tower, in the normal sense of the word, but their rugged indifference provokes a certain admiration. I love the Olympic mountains.

Looking to the left, the sun was slowly sinking beneath a thin clutch of wispy clouds, caressing the water with the subtlest hues of a sunset palette. Fire and water dancing beneath the wailing seagulls.

We talked about life--family; friends; places we've lived; places we'd like to live. We are kindred spirits of a sort, two wanderers learning in different ways how to make a home. It's not exactly a task with measurable goals. How do you even know when a place first feels like home? I imagine you just look up one day and realize this place feels just like that other place I called "home" did. Despite having no control over this process, it still feels like hard work.

As we talked, I watched the sun descend toward the hills with lazy confidence. I want that confidence. I want to live life with the steady rhythm of the sun rising and setting each day, no matter which place I am trying to call home.

I want to stop clutching at my increasingly outlandish notions of grandeur, as if the days were sand slipping unhindered through my hands.

See, I want to savor the feel of life flowing unfettered between my fingers, to let each grain tell its unique story until there is nothing left to hold.

Then I will stand at the water, gaze upon the mountains, and know the certainty of the sun in its setting.

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