It seems incredible now that there was ever a time I didn’t love the Pacific Northwest, but sadly it’s all too true. For the first several years I lived in Washington, in fact, I dreamed of getting away. It wasn’t so much the rain or the infamous gray “June-ary” so much as the fact that it wasn’t upstate New York. I had spent three and a half years in Los Angeles, missing four glorious New England autumns, and in my heart I’d always supposed I would go “home.” I’ve since learned that it is in our suppositions that God most often finds his inspiration for growth.
I wasted a lot of time and tears lamenting my new home for what it was not. I was clinging with an iron fist to everything I’d known, and in the meantime, I’d closed myself off from the new and very beautiful blessings God was offering. Eventually, he got through to me (he always does), and maybe it was a little like St. Paul when the scales fell off his eyes. Suddenly I could see the beauty of what had been all around me for years…and I was breathless.
Seattle has been good to me. It was here that I became a mother–five times, in fact! It was here that I discovered strength and love and joy beyond anything I’d previously been capable of comprehending. Here I learned the true meaning of hygge. (I remain convinced there is nothing on earth more hyggeligt than a cup of coffee, a blanket, and a good book on a drizzly Seattle morning in November.) Washington helped me discover a love for the outdoors that had been drowsing dormant in my heart for many years, and my body has loved learning all it is capable of as I’ve explored God’s creation, sometimes clumsily but always with awe.
Today, it’s hard to believe I would have wished away my tiny parcel of earth, nestled gently between mountain and ocean. Hard to believe there was a time when I thought I knew better than God and struggled in every conceivable way to weasel out of this great gift, all this beauty. On our way back from a glorious five-day getaway on Orcas Island, just as we were approaching the final leg of the journey toward home, I saw the misty crown of Mt. Rainier resting regally beyond Lake Washington, and I turned to Brian with joy in my eyes. With a leap of gratitude in my voice, I said, “I love living here!”