Two years ago Maria and Michael bought a seaside rambler in Sequim so they could have somewhere to get out of the city on weekends. I’m happy to hop in the van and tag along on those weekends. It’s a chance to realign. On a Thursday we take the ferry from Edmonds to Kingston and ride up a two-lane highway through Port Gamble and pass the turnoff to Port Townsend. We ride nestled between water and the snow-peaked Olympics, a canopy of evergreens leading the way, until we reach Nash’s Farm Store and head towards the water.
A telescope sits in front of the large bay windows overlooking Dungeness Bay and on Friday evenings we take turns looking through the telescope to catch a glimpse of three oversized cruise ships heading to Alaska. The light station glints like a diamond earring out on the spit that separates the bay from the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Micheal plays guitar until long after the sun has sent rays of vibrant peach-toned hues across the sky, Maria does her cross-stitch, and I sit here, waiting.
I’m waiting for the nugget. The first time I come I want something worth writing to happen, because I’m still insecure about sharing my self. But Sequim is a place where you come to move yourself, not the other way around. It’s a reminder to me of how I want to BE in the world, to do and not be done to.
In the mornings the water is glassy and supple. I can hear the neighbors when they get into their small boat to go check their crab traps the next day. I walk along the waterline and pick up water-polished stones that feel good in my hands.
On one weekend we slip on water shoes and head out into the low tide. It’s not like the rocky low tides of northern California I’m familiar with. Mounds of sand where clams have burrowed decorate the way and there’s a lot of rotting kelp that wraps around my ankles. Small finger-sized fish dash from one mound of green to the next as we approach. Far out in the shallow water the stillness settles around me and I get grounded right there in the sludge. I settle into the quiet and feel myself expand. Unencumbered by ricocheting sounds, sharp angles, and other urban cacophonies, I let my spirit take up some space and for a little while feel another type of liberation. And then I realize the stillness itself is the nugget I have been looking for.