The Washington state motto (Native American), meaning “bye and bye”, or “hope for the future.”
This July of 2018, I took a trip to see two friends on Bainbridge Island, Washington. Here are three anecdotes, and photos that hopefully describe, in part, the beauty and the freedom I experienced.
- It was our first day on the west coast, and it was my first time seeing Sofie and Gracie in over a year. To this, we decided to do a full Washington road trip with a 9-week old Bernese Mountain dog, Finnegan. I drove the Yukon (with a broken speedometer) two hours until we hit the bottom of a mountain known as Hurricane Ridge. We drove to the top – windows down, Jamestown Revival blasting, with lots of conversation. Upon reaching the top, we put Finnegan in a backpack and walked around to take in the view and man, all you could see was mountains. Full on ranges of snowcapped towers glistening in the warmth of the summer sun. The sky was pure blue, the air was clear as ice, and the view left me in awe of the One that created it all. Our next stop was Lake Crescent, a lake surrounded by mountains and rolling hills with the bluest (and coldest, may I add) water I had ever seen. We swam and sat on a bridge that isolated itself between the trails and hills, laughing between our shivers (did I mention that this state is extra cold) and uncoordinated jumps. And here, the sun warmed us and decorated the water with glistening ripples.
Lesson Learned #1: The sun really shines on the lowest points and the highest points this world has to offer, creating the most beautiful shine and glory. Therefore, the Son shines on the highest and lowest points of who we are, making astoundingly beautiful things.
- Gracie and I woke up early and drove four hours, in the infamous broken Yukon once again, to Portland, OR. After a few hours of exploring, we both got extremely frustrated, me more so anxious. It was so hot, there was no parking, we had no clue what to do, and we wanted a home base. We ditched the Portland idea and drove two more hours to the coast: the most beautiful, freeing, green drive. We landed at Cannon Beach, and I immediately ran towards the rising rock. Sand flew everywhere, the chill air raised goosebumps on my legs, and a smile immediately stretched across my face. The air between my shoulders felt so pure, and the view left me, once again, in awe. I was with my best friend, in the white sand, beneath towering rocks that even the waves couldn’t move. At the end of the night, we drove back to Portland and slept in our AirBnB with a stranger.
Lesson Learned #2: People are so small compared to small worries and gorgeous views. The gorgeous views and experiences with the bestest of friends always find a way to outweigh the small worries.
- The most memorable. On my last night, Gracie and a couple of her friends and I drove across the island to Hidden Cove. It was so, so, so cold. And the water was even colder, so I was extremely hesitant to jump in; we all jumped together eventually. This was no ordinary Pacific cove: it was flooded with phosphorescent plankton. With each movement, the water glowed around me. When diving into the water, a tunnel of light emerged. Even better, you could not catch it on camera. I felt like a complete mermaid – it was surreal. It was beautiful. It was, in a way, cathartic: a complete relief of worries and a complete surrender to how beautiful the world and His creations truly are.
Lesson Learned #3: The unimaginable is quite real. Friends are true.
Alki is present in Washington. Each view and structure and person and idea proves the statement: goodbye to the things that hold you down, hope for the things that light you up.
Note to Self: Live as hope for the future. Live to say bye and bye, while embracing the new hellos every day. Remember that I can make each of my movements, words, and actions glow amidst the cold waters.
Until next time,