Monday, October 28, 2013

Perspectives from Babyland

This morning I watched the sunrise with a clear head and a rested body, courtesy of eight hours of sleep that had only been interrupted once by my lovely baby. Though she slept eight hours straight at seven weeks old, her sleep patterns seem to reflect what is true of much of life of babies: constantly changing.

This morning I watched as several local runners tested their fitness running across town, up the backside of the mountain and down the front. The air was crisp; their breath was visible. Completely unrelated to my newly well-rested state, the itch to train a bit more has been present the past couple weeks. Whether working full time and coaching beyond that or staying at home with an infant, I like to have a fitness project to call my own. I am starting to set my sights on a race or two in the spring—still six months out.

This evening I finished projects, pureed baby food, folded laundry and ran errands. I had forgotten how much I could get done with a decent night’s rest. I am remembering what it felt like to make it to six at night without desperately wishing that I could call it a day and go to bed.

This evening I realized what perspective seven months with a baby can give you. How quickly she has taught me that the world continues with a messy kitchen, a full laundry basket, and eyes that droop with fatigue. How quickly I have learned to just be with her, to just sit and watch her explore, to just roll around on the floor with her, my number one goal just to make her smile.

These days I am nothing short of exhausted, but most days I am also incredibly content. I would never want to stay in baby land forever, but for now it hits the spot.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

New Discoveries

The sky was dark when we left the restaurant this evening, a dinner celebration for a birthday completed. And as we walked out through the gravel parking lot, we noticed the eerie moving of white on the water: a large flock of seagulls rested on the rhythm of the waves, silently glowing in the orange reflection of the cannery’s light.

Curtis and I both commented on the odd collection of birds, clustered dozens upon dozens in this small section of water, floating effortlessly as water moved through the straight. There are sights and smells you get used to in a small fishing town: extra tuff boots for all occasions in all sizes, the heavy scent of smoking fish lingering throughout town during the fall salmon run, discussions of fishing vessels past and present, and the legacies of the owners and routes that match them. Yet even with all that seems typical in a small town with a predictable rhythm, I still find much that is unexpected.

In the city there is often talk of what is coming: a new business or road, an upcoming concert or show, improvements and adjustments and plans for the future. In the small town I sense a greater appreciation for the past: people that have worked and lived and invested for years in an industry, a town, these people, how the present has come to be

As we have searched for a home in the past few months we have realized the alternate identity each home has. A house is not known by its address, but by its previous owners: present or not in the community. The house we are currently in the process of buying has had two different owners, who I now feel like I know quite well—despite the fact that I have never met either of them. I know their names and the families. I know the circumstances of their departures—happy and sad. I know the people that considered the lot before the home was built, and ended up not getting it. These are not just names on a contract here, they are coworkers and employers; they are potentially future friends. 

I know that when we move into this house, it won’t be ours for a while; it will still be theirs. I will describe the way to get to our home, all the while waiting for the inevitable recognition, “Ah, yes. You live in the Jones’s old house.” But eventually it will be ours, a part of our story in a small island town where so much is predictable and so much more is unknown. And so life continues in this place, where tonight I reveled for a few moments in the wonder of seagulls resting on the ocean for the evening. Tomorrow I have no doubt that I will discover something new, hear another story, learn a bit more of the history the makes up this place. And in learning the story, I will be that much more at home.