Where I Love Best: America’s Pacfic Northwest
It was like a theatrical curtain, raising, revealing a spectacular set, a magnificent view, a wonderland. I stepped timidly onto the stage that was my former life like a guest, then, with a rush of remembrance, ran from room to room, crushing every piece of it with a visual embrace so fierce that the house itself gasped for air, as breathless about my return as I was. I felt Life oozing up from the floors and seeping out of the walls and shining through the windows, gaining momentum and intensity with every squeal of my heart until all three-stories and our acre of woods flooded with exuberance. After thirteen months in England and Europe, it was a glorious homecoming.
Every day since, my eyes flutter open to birds on fir branches, and I sing my prayers with them like a child. Morning begins in the kitchen-that-looks-like-a-rose-garden and we breakfast on the deck overlooking a backyard stream and gazebo. Daylight is spent digging in the gardens or homemaking indoors. At night, in the great room of wall-to-wall windows, we wait in company with one another for the sky to turn dark and then go up to our big, soft bed, falling asleep to the gentle whir of the ceiling fan. Enthralling as great cities on distant continents may be, as stunning as foreign countrysides, or as charming as old world villages, no vista or lifestyle can compare to this place because it is ours and I have always always loved it.
Even as a child, I would steal away into the forest, tuck myself into a tiny cove of giant evergreens, and there unleash whispered dreams: a tall husband, lots of round cherubs, something to make music and write about, and a house; not just any house – but a blue house, nestled in the woods. Of course it would be enchanted: engulfed in the spirit of everything ancient; close to rivers and creeks where Indians once paddled; hidden to all except the primeval orchestra of flying creatures and leafy breezes.
A haven, a respite, a chapel – that would be my Blue House in the Woods.
I grew up and married and started life in a series of unremarkable apartments, growing like dandelions through cracks of commercial cement. We graduated to rental homes in cookie-cutter neighborhoods. Four children later, we owned our first house and then another, and so forth. All the while, Blue House stood secret sentry on girlish dreams, waiting somewhere in the green-grey of Washington State.
(While I found other parts of the country had their charms, my rainbow touched ground in the Pacific Northwest. Someday, someway, I knew we would return to find our pot of gold there.)
Then, in the manner of storybooks and fairy tales, when babies had become people and careers were in full swing — at a stage of life when folks have forgotten first fantasies — fortune picked up our little boat and on the crest of circumstance, propelled us across America. When the commotion had receded; when Dale had settled into his new assignment and scoured the vicinity for a new home; there, suddenly (even miraculously if the story be told) stood BLUE HOUSE, emerging from years of cloudy imagination, literally opening the red front door, inviting us in — to stay.
(Scroll over Dreamstime photos for descriptions)
I know my international as well as U.S. friends particularly love the places they call “home”. Muse with me: why do you cherish your corner of the world?
Hint of Romance
If you love each other long enough, dreams come true one at a time.