Sorry for another long silence from me, here, anyway. I’ve not been silent anywhere else, just here. Don’t take it personally. Per usual, been busybusybusy with work, but also busybusybusy enjoying the time I’m not working. Which isn’t enough, I’ll give you, but I’ll take what I can get.
I stopped by because I just had to write down something lovely that happened around a week ago here on the island, which was such an excellent representation of why I love it here so much and remain so grateful I was able to move here.
I was in the city for a visit with my sister (who moved to Seattle last year, oddly, more on that another time) and some work at the shelter. After a lovely, albeit brief, run-in with my friend Ben, met up with Blue and we headed back home on the water taxi. We got to sit with some of his commuting friends, who were lovely and witty and wise, and when we all loaded off the water taxi, half the folks, including us, jetted it over to the bus in a rush.
So, there we are, everyone having finished their workday, tired, but still nice and chatty, something I found Seattle folks tended to lack, but island folks tend to make up for. As the bus made its way down the length of the island, the sky started to get dark. We were sitting near the front of the bus, where a teenage girl was also sitting.
All of a sudden, she yelled out, “Oh, wow! Look at the moon!” Before half of us could even start to do it, she was swiftly dialing friends on her cell phone to tell them, too, to look at the moon, a gorgeous, low-hanging, blazing orange harvest moon. Everyone on the bus joined in in looking and admiring it, and for those who hadn’t heard said teenage girl, the bus driver used the intercom to advise everyone aboard to look at it.
So there we all were, moon-gazing, sky-sighing, all thanks to one of the charming, enthusiastic and kind of mystical teenagers we seem to have quite a lot of on the island, who I tend to notice other adults don’t take for granted, either. All excitedly gazing at the beautiful moon lighting up the harbor and the rippling topography of our island.
Seriously cool stuff, that. I grinned for days because of it.
This is a lot of what life is like for me here, save that it’s typically much more quiet. I so appreciate the quiet and the solitude — with breaks for things like en masse moon-squealing — and the slowness. I’m still dazed half the time just by seeing and feeling the forest and the water all around me.
It’s an interesting appreciation, too, for this time and place in my life, because it’s based both on the present and the past. They don’t just connect each other, but my life in the past has been, I think, a big part of my enjoying my life now. If it wasn’t for growing up in the city and being so urban for the majority of my life, I don’t think I’d appreciate being rural like this now. If it wasn’t for such a fast and busy social pace at other times, I think the slowness and quiet now would feel boring, instead of peaceful and inspiring. Narrowing my interpersonal relationships down is something that feels right and good, but likely in part because at other times, I’ve been so much more expansive in that area.
It’s such an exceptional and fantastic thing, loving where I am now because of where I’ve been before; not because what was before was not what I wanted, and this, instead, was, but because I’ve loved both parts and they kind of complete each other. It’s like having had two cups for everything, where only one was filled, but the other is now also getting full. It makes all of my parts fit together in really complimentary ways, and makes all of my journeys kind of make a lot more sense than they have before.
It is, however, also a strange thing for me to feel more quiet in my spirit and my energy. It’s not breaking news to mention that it has been more often loud and frenetic, and also that it’s always been a challenge for me to find a quiet. Figuring out how to balance that with the work I do, in which in so many ways, I need to still be loud, has been interesting, and an art I have yet to refine. I’m still just starting to explore it. I’d say it’s certainly had a notable impact on the way I’ve been working with people directly: channeling my compassion and empathy for them was always something I could do, but it’s become considerably more effortless. It is a bit harder, I’m finding, to react and respond to anyone — in general — being really out of order or very angry or reactive, but slowing myself down to try and figure out how is easier.
I’m in the midst of some potentially major work choices and decisions, which could potentially change my life (and my org) for the serious better if all goes well, in an area I’ve never had a fast, serious-better change, ever, only slow, gradual progress. Can’t say more than that about it for now, but this is one more way in which I’m glad I’m living here, because sorting out this decision feels like something I’m capable of doing well better here than I would have elsewhere.
Basics, I know, and little else, but, hey! Look at the moon!