I start each morning walking towards Mount Rainier. The streets sprawl out to my left, cars streaming past, and then the light rail trains, one going north and another headed south. I'm going to miss this train, but I let it go because I know another will come by in five minutes. It'll give me some time to collect my thoughts or read a bit of morning news.
I've had a lot on my mind lately on these morning walks to the train. I'm not the only one walking. Dozens of people are making their way to and from the station. Most are alone, some are in pairs, chuckling and chatting as the day begins. Most of us will hop on the northbound train to head to downtown. To jobs, school, appointments...
I've been thinking about all these people. Who they are and what their lives are like. I've been thinking about this planet, especially since today is the first day below 70 degrees this week. It climbed to 90 last Sunday. That's not normal for Seattle, not in April. I've been thinking about the flooding in Houston, the earthquakes in Japan and Ecuador, and the endless streams of climate crises that seem to be unfolding day after day, week after week.
I've been thinking about politics, about a need for radical change. About the end of business as usual. I've been envisioning a monumental shift, a tale of powerful proportions in the face of so many talking heads full of hate. On mornings when I'm just not really feeling it, my thoughts turn to my health. The aching and creaking in my joints and muscles. How tired I feel. I think about the difference between worry and concern. I wonder if I'll ever feel different. Or if any of these people around me feel the same way.
I tap my transit card on the meter and pick a spot under the awning. It's starting to drizzle ever so slightly now, and I realize it smells like summer rain. And vomit. I move a little ways more down the track. The weather forecast called for thunderstorms today. I never remember having those here when I was little.
I think about stories. The ones we tell ourselves, and the ones we tell each other. I've been wondering a lot how to reconcile my own shifting story of late. So much of my identity has always been wrapped up in fitness and physical training. That just isn't happening for me right now. I'm hoping to find my way back to it. But simply put, my story is changing.
It's not for better and it's not for worse. It's just different now. I'm learning to let it go. I'm realizing that the harder that I try to hold on to something, some idea of the way things are, the faster it seems to slip away. I see this everyday in my son. My once little boy who use to only want to spend time with me now races home to run of with friends. He's got bikes to ride, forts to build, water gun fights to win.
I realize that this change is truly the only constant in my life these days. And that's okay. I'd rather be evolving than holding still, trying to gasp on to something as fleeting as time. This new life, this city only further that point further. After all, nothing holds still here, not even for a second.
I get into the office and climb the stairs down to basement, and underneath this city. There is something about down here that makes me feel safe. It's quiet here, tucked away from everything. I can collect my thoughts, and maybe, if I am really lucky I can even manage to write them all down.