Regarding Seattle: Addendum
This is a follow-up to my previous post in which I declared that I’d like to stay put in Philly instead of moving to Seattle.
I wrote that piece a few hours before going for a walk around Discovery Park. By any other city’s standards, this park is bursting with natural beauty. Even in January, the edges of the perfectly-worn wooden staircases exploded with happy green ferns. Damp forest gave way to stone beaches overlooking wide expanses of the Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains beyond. After sunset, I found my way back by moonlight. I could see about as many stars as I do from our parents’ farm in Central Pennsylvania. But this was entirely within city limits!
By Seattle standards, I think Discovery Park might be sort of commonplace. Just a short drive out of the city is where the real natural beauty starts. In all directions.
I was shocked at how starved I felt. Nature-starved. To walk through forest. To stop anytime something caught my eye, and drink it in. To find my way by moonlight. To smell damp pine in the air. To stare into crashing waves. It had been years since I’d done any of these things with such intention. Probably since boy scout camp as a teenager, ten years ago. It felt like my soul came alive with the winter ferns.
I intend to find times to immerse myself in nature more regularly, from now on. Wherever I live. I know outdoorsy types in Philly who make regular trips out to the Appalachian Trail and such.
But in Seattle, that beauty is just a short bike ride or walk away. You have to work to stay out of nature.
So my previous assessment still mostly holds. I wouldn’t move to Seattle, if I intended to live the city-bound life there that I live in Philly. But moving there with the intention of exploring all the nature around it—that I might do.