thoughts from sea level
This frame is from the last time we were in the mountains. The snow makes it seem like an eternity ago but we haven’t even returned the boys’ rented skis, they’re still heaped in a colorful trellis of thermoformed plastic, at the front door. A lot of our public wild lands reopened last week. The nearest foothills are twenty minutes from the front door and the mountain pass over the crest of the Cascades closest to Seattle is just under an hour away, I’m looking at it right now, out the window. There are lots of nice blue-green places in between but they’re within reach of three million other antsy people, many of whom are furloughed from work but have Facebook and Instagram accounts to decorate with scenic selfies, followers to influence. Blogs to write? The writing’s on the wall if you know what I mean. The comparatively isolated Olympic range on the other side of the water from Seattle isn’t immune, either. A lot of people are staying home this summer, heading for the hills in search of the same nooks and crannies.
This was on my mind earlier today after I finished a delightful account of Captain James Cook’s first circumnavigation of the Earth by sea which left me pining even more for something further from the front porch. When that will be, I haven’t the faintest idea. Deep down in my heart all I really care about is wishing to see my mom, dad, all of my brothers and sisters for a picnic in the backyard and then maybe a fire for the kids. Barring that, right now it’s all about the ABCs and making sure the doggone house doesn’t fall down. I’ve been meaning to walk my bike down the hill to the bicycle shop (an essential service in our bike-mad town) for some new tires and a serious tuneup which may include replacement of several important-looking cables and thereafter maybe the boys and I will go for a few rides in the country.
Books. Those are the other places I’m going. I’m reading a good little one about birds at the moment in an effort to get up to avian speed (for Oliver Fern’s sake) and I’m tackling Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment. This is a pretty big deal for me, I’m punching above my weight with this one. Finishing (more importantly, enjoying) Moby Dick last winter has given me more confidence. Right now is timely because my mom started Crime and Punishment not too long ago and it’ll be wonderful to compare notes (or share misery). We’ve had a dog-eared copy of Brothers Karamazov on the shelf for years, back in the day when it was common for her to stay with us for three or four weeks at a time, she was always starting it but leaving off when it was time to head home, so I think Dostoevsky is sort of an albatross for her.
I’m attempting to peck all of this out with Oliver Fern at my side, he’s doing his best to read while Adam’s currently in the back of the house practicing his trumpet. Those brassy waves are refracting down the narrow hall of the upstairs, tickling every bristle in our inner ears (noses, too) so I shall conclude these remarks.