Yeah, I’ve been gone for a good bit. I can explain. Politics, the pandemic, and health crises sapped my will to write. Then the sun came out. (And there were so. many. volcanoes.) In this essay, I will ‘splain what’s been going on, and show you some of the beautiful sights we saw as we broke free from a confining year.
This was a summer of slowly learning how to adventure again.
The pandemic was rough, even for introverts. We couldn’t travel out to our favorite volcanoes, and even local outdoors walks in areas without many people felt fraught. The winter was especially tough. My partner was an essential worker, and though we never caught COVID, we risked it daily. Political turmoil made everything much worse, especially when the Capitol was attacked in January. The stress of it all caused me to withdraw and him to relapse. We nearly lost each other. Words failed me for a long time. It felt like nothing would ever be safe again.
But in spring, he went into residential treatment, and my friend M and I began tentatively venturing out. Just to nearby parks, at first. She introduced me to Union Bay Natural Area, where magnificent views of Lake Union, the Issaquah Alps, and Tahoma (Mount Rainier) provide a lovely setting for many fantastic birds. That’s when my passion for the sun was rekindled after a year of being unable to venture out.
I brought her to North Creek, where trails through the wetlands and along ponds provide many more opportunities for birding (yes, it’s become our thing), plus lovely views of the ridges that the Cordilleran Ice Sheet bequeathed to the Puget Lowlands.