As I sat down to write to you, I found myself at a fair trade cafe in Olympia. Now, as the sun peeks through the Seattle clouds I am back in Capitol Hill at a magic little coffee shop, full of a steamy london fog and rainy morning air.
The beauty in this? Each place is unique and different. Each spot has its’ own magic. Each one is new to me, unfamiliar. And this newness, this contrast, sweet readers, is exactly what I planned to write about it. And the universe seems to be in full support of this plan.
This piece began to take shape as I sat at the harbor park in Olympia, WA, breathing in the sea air and settling after 3 hours of Seattle and Tacoma traffic. It later came to life on paper in Traditions Cafe down the street.
As I walked to Traditions, I thought about how close Bellingham, Seattle and Olympia are. All separated, or rather connected, by a few hours driving on I-5. All on the north side of the mountains in Washington State. But each city is so different. So full of its’ own spirit. And own people.
For so long, I wrote exclusively in Bellingham. My spots were familiar, calm and quiet. I wrote outside at Teddy Bear Cove, in the Terra Market that has since closed, or curled up in my bed. The city is small and quirky, but it’s a quirk I know well, and identify with. A city filled with people and places I understand, connect with, and fall into without effort.
When I write here in Capitol Hill I feel off kilter, there are more people. They are dressed in corporate clothing. But they carry reusable coffee mugs and wrap themselves in scarves that tell secrets of their true style. I feel distracted by constant movement, and hustle. I feel excited by the life that exists here. It’s different, it’s less connected, but more alive.
When I wrote in Olympia last night I felt grounded, I felt welcomed by a zany waitress, warmed by incredibly tasty and cheap food. Softened by the string band music, the tapestries on each table, and the particularly unappealing welded art on the walls.
Point being, I find comfort in knowing that some cities and towns will fit better than others. I won’t know which is which until I’m there. Each one will be important. Some will excite, and some will calm. Each will teach me something new, awaken some part of me that was sleeping. Each will challenge me to better understand where I belong, or rather, how to belong to myself and in myself as I weave in and out of our world.
So, here’s to exploring each new city. May they hold unique places to write, new people to observe, tons of food to eat and countless pups to pet. May they hold life, love, connection and solitude. May the exist exactly as they are, I give them thanks for allowing me to step in and out of them