Place To Be

"Now I'm weaker, than the palest blue. Oh so weak in this need for you." - Place To Be, Nick Drake
Photo courtesy of Photography by David L. Clark

There is something about places, the significance, the nostalgia, the memories, the beauty, that elicit so much emotion in the human spirit. Maybe a place holds significant because it feels like home, maybe you fell in love there, maybe you found out something about yourself there, or perhaps it just stirs something up that you can't explain. This waterfall is one of those places for me. I was born and lived almost half of my life in Snoqualmie, Washington the place that this beauty falls from. A lot of my fondest memories of my life come from this place, along with a romanticized notion about my father's young life, and my grandfather's. My family lived in "The Valley" forever. 

Yesterday David and I took Lorelei there to just jaunt around a little bit. I was struck by this oily, woody smell in the air the other day while I took my dog outside that reminded me of the train depot I used to visit regularly with my grandmother and aunts, and I felt like I just needed to go home. Sometimes it's so gratifying to go back to where your life started. 

So many memories, buried deep, sprang forth while we walked the streets. Memories of picking up fallen apples to take a bite, as we walked past my great, great grandparent's old home that once had an apple tree in the front yard. A home that also housed a very tiny me and my young parents for a while. Where I could remember the smell of the garage. A place where my aunt later lived and fed me Cookie Crisp for breakfast, baked lemon cakes, and let me try to jump on her water bed. I smiled at the Railroad Museum at the memory of the feeling of the brick walkway under my own stroller wheels when I was Lorelei's age, a sensation I didn't even know I remembered until I was there. Seeing flashes in my head of the sights on the train ride from Snoqualmie to North Bend. Remembering the festivals and parades that I attended on those streets. Hearing the music played by 90's folk and grunge musicians, including my dad's various music projects. Smelling the river. Pointing out houses I loved as a kid, and noticing charming ones I never took notice of before. I had this overwhelming sense of familiarity, security, and of being rooted there. Seeing, hearing, and feeling the spray off the waterfall made my heart flutter. It's like this every time I go back. I feel like I'm home, but it also feels like magic.

Sometimes I catch myself dreaming of raising my own daughter there. It still feels so wholesome and welcoming to me. I would have been incredibly happy to grow up my whole life there. Even as a child I imagined myself going to middle school and high school where my parents did. Maybe it feels so happy to me because I was still young and oblivious to the crap that happened there and threatened to tear my family apart, but I can't help but think maybe those things could have been worked out without leaving. I will never know, and that chapter is behind me, but I can't help but wonder...Maybe there are more chapters for me to make there...

What places have special significance to you?
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