Last night Beau and I went on a long walk alone together in our neighborhood. We ate Lebanese food in a courtyard filled with lanterns and the scent of lilies. We reminisced with the manager who Beau realized he knew from his airport days. So much has changed in ten years! So many dreams realized and so many put on shelves. He told us he was happy for our marriage and children and was going to visit his true love in Germany that month to try to be with her. (and that if we came for belly dancing on a Friday he would take care of us.)
We walked through the Ravenna sidewalk gardens and I struck up a conversation with a sweet lady tending to one of them. Her name was Victoria, and she said she had lived in the neighborhood the longest, save for the original farmhouse on the corner. Imagine living here before everything else came! The golden era, with nothing but apple orchards between you and the university, in a world of old word beauty.
I like to imagine what the original owners of our house were like, back in the roaring 20’s. Did they go to the U? Did they sail in Portage Bay? Did they walk through the forest? They must have, it was their back yard then. Did they die with regrets? What were their dreams that I can live out now in the same house? Time has such a stamp of ending and beginning. A circle ever forming, the hopes of the past being strived for again and again. I imagined a deep well in the forest filled with regrets.
We stopped for smoked sea salt chocolate and iced lattes and I told Beau that we have to believe in the beauty of our dreams and he had to finally, finally sign up for sailing lessons, a dream we’d talked about when we first got married.
He said he had no time. I said we would make time.
So we walked to the university, all lit up like the sandstone of the acropolis in the failing light. Through the wide gnarled trees lining the quad, and the gargoyled, turreted, buildings covered with symbols and seals. Beau pointed out a hummingbird, and I found the name of one of the characters in my book in the stone. We found the door, three flights down in a sterile lit corridor with a crumpled paper sign which read in scribbled ink: yacht club. Their hours were as haphazard as their sign, but we’ll be back.
We heard flutes playing in a courtyard of roses and followed their pretty sound through a tunnel of shrubbery to an amphitheater I had never seen before. We walked on and made our way over the old copper finialed Montlake bridge to a neighborhood of cottages overlooking the lake. Fancifully dressed people dined on a grass field in front of an old light house. The Seattle Yacht Club. I pictured the White Sands Hotel with chicken salad and peach ice cream. Just a stone throw away a poor black family fished, their little boy curled up asleep on a blanket in the grass. A cultural divide so stark It felt like a joke.
Across the chasm of the canal we found the Washington Yacht club. (The one I want Beau to sign up for). Rock music played through speakers in the lane, college students worked rainbow sails through the lily pads, and a privateer looking lad played with his dog on the dock. It was love at first sight.
The sun was setting, its milky light played over the water with hushed pinks and liquid blues. The windows across the lake reflected the sun we could not see in sparkling gold. I imagined us in the tiny skiff sailing out towards them.
We walked up Ravenna creek, over a monet bridge, and hopped a fence back to civilization as the night darkened. Yellow lamp light speckled with moths led us to Pair, a candlit Tapas restaurant. I can barely think of anything else besides when I will be able to taste their homemade goat cheese ravioli again.
Night flowers opened in the moonlight as we walked back. The scent of hyssop, jasmine, and lavender filled the air. I plucked a few pretties as we passed, their dried remnants reminded me of our enchanted evening when I woke up this morning.
Beau said to me, “maybe one day I’ll be able to take you out sailing, and then we could walk back like this.”
I lit up. “Next year maybe?”
“Maybe by the end of the summer.”
When we came up the path lined with flowers I had planted to The Burrow, its round door felt like my heart, opened to home.