the great adventure: day 11
heavy clouded skies released their tears as we slept. it was a deep sound sleep encouraged by the rain tapping out a gentle adagio on the geo-dome windows above us. it was as if some benign siren was singing an enchantment over us.
when we awoke it was late morning and we were eager to see seattle so we showered and headed into town, our main target being pike place market and the puget sound waterfront overlooking bainbridge island.
the drive into town was masked by a hazy drizzle, but as we emerged from the east portal and made the big i-90 s-curve the skyline came into view as a ghostly shadow before us, haunting my imagination like a vision from some post-apocalyptic movie. but as we drew near and found our way to the market the experience was anything but frightening. entranced by the weaving together of sky and shadows in the midst of an evergreen forest that gave way to concrete and steel, i looked around in wonder at the emerald city in its misty morning glory.
in spite of the thick moisture in the air, the market was bustling with activity. people shopped for everything from fish and produce to clothing and art as we wandered down the street in and out of the shops and booths and i was struck by the small irony that in the middle of this city whose claim to fame is rainy grey days, a fascinating palette of colors, sounds, and smells filled the cityscape canvas all around us.
near the pure food fish market where they toss the fish as a matter of habit, we found a local busker by the name of carly calbero whose vocal power betrayed her slight frame as she belted out her songs with a passion that transcended the noisy atmosphere surrounding us.
we spent the better part of the afternoon taking it all in. from the fish tossing
to pike place chowder located on post alley where we stopped for lunch and savored some fresh and delicious bread-bowl chowder
to a mandatory stop at the original starbucks in the market, where i picked up a unique blend of pike place special reserve coffee that i am still enjoying. apparently they only sell it at the original store and one other location on pike place. its a bold latin american blend that goes well with a relaxed morning in my reading nook. especially if its raining.
after getting our coffee we hung out at the waterfront next to some indigenous totems
and stood overlooking the sound as the shadows swallowed and spit out the islands in the distance.
after walking the length of the market we hopped back in the car and drove by the space needle
and while its a pretty nifty landmark, i was somewhat more impressed with the artistic architecture of the EMP museum which was designed by frank o gehry and apparently inspired by electric guitars.
for a long time i have possessed a deep uneasiness about big cities. im not entirely sure why but generally big buildings and lots of people triggers something akin to claustrophobia and i feel pressed in on all sides. the noise is another issue. the hum of freeways coupled with sirens and airplanes squealing by overhead somehow feels threatening. but there was a deeper, fuller hum in seattle that felt entirely different. a hum that seemed to come from somewhere outside the concrete and steel and yet to reverberate within everything around us.
the more i paid attention the more it seemed as if god was there and that he was speaking without saying a word.
as ive stated previously in this travelogue i highly prefer wide open spaces because i find it easier to connect with god in those environments. but something about our experience in seattle was unlike my previous experiences in large cities. there was a beauty in it that i think i was able to see because my eyes were open and new and everything was once again filled with wonder. i was beginning to sense that god was humming there in the city, making himself known in the bustling vibrations of life. drawing my attention to his presence in places i have generally found uncomfortable and menacing.
but this revelation was on a slow burn and would continue to simmer in my mind for the remainder of the trip, even after we had departed seattle and left all major cities behind us, headed to yellowstone and the grand tetons for the final days of our journey.
as afternoon drew toward evening we headed back to snohomish for supper with our awesome hosts, the jeffs family. we talked about various things over supper, from our trip to god to the crazy awesome geo-dome designed and built by mr jeffs himself.
then we all got schooled by brian while playing 3d blokus.
it was a relaxing end to a wonderful day and though the sky was still full of moisture as darkness fell in the sleepy hills, i felt the quiet hum of gods presence all around me and knew the days ahead would be full of radiance. and since we had a long days drive ahead of us i tried to get a good bit of sleep because i didnt want to sleep through anything interesting on the road. it was like the old aerosmith song was becoming my mantra because god was revealing himself in fascinating new ways and i didnt want to miss a thing.