I am told this weekend is the peak of the cherry trees blooming in Seattle, I wish I was there!
My first memory of the tree blossoming season in Seattle was 1993. We arrived March 22 and our first Seattle home was actually over at Eastside. The cherry tree blooms covered the ground for Trouble & Trouble 4 and 6 years old to play with outside our townhouse in Juanita, Kirkland. We had left the white spring-winter in Sweden for the great adventure, and the cherry trees were snowing!
For me, one of my most exotic Seattle memories is from spring 1997 when we had our home for the year at Portage Bay. Packing our downhill ski equipment on and in our 1981 silver Buick while the cherry trees in the alley told Swedes it was summer. Driving the one hour trip up to the Snoqualmie ski area. Met by tons of snow and great skiing. In the late afternoon heading back to Seattle welcomed by summer. I can still feel the fascinating magic of it.
To Seattleites that’s all spring. But to a Swede from the northern parts of the country it’s summer and winter in a wonderful and amazing package. 2 for the price of 1! I remember Trouble 2 (now 9) having a burger in the sun at one of the ski drive in restaurant porches announcing: this is life!
During my commuting years following I loved packing my bags here at the end of the road this time of year, crossing the ocean, landing in Seattle. Filling my lungs with the fresh sent of moist red cedar and my eyes with the white and pink color from the cherries blooming all over town. Still now, I can sense my body and mind expanding from joy of once again arriving in my second home so different from my first; Away is Home, Home is Away. Just wanting to stay there forever.
I celebrated my 45th birthday on one of those visits. It wasn’t a happy birthday, at least to start with. I was separated going for divorce. I felt old. I had a future in mind which I knew wouldn’t happen. But I had a new semi professional video camera!
I woke up in the morning feeling heavy and sad about my whole situation. But I made a conscious decision to pick myself up. And I started playing with my camera. As soon as I looked through the view finder my heart went pounding. I put the gear in my car and headed towards Seattle from Lynnwood where I stayed at my friend/sister Autumn’s.
I still remember the footage I shot at the marina east of Gasworks Park. Lying on the docks composing the pictures with houseboats, water and blooming cherry treas. I felt a lot better!
Continuing to Seattle Center. The sun was out, and the colors and shapes of Frank Gehry’s Experience Music Project making me go on for hours, and yeah, catching the Monorail through it!
I remember someone calling me on my way to the parking lot, might it have been Craig? By now I felt so good about the day I told him it was my birthday. Like I had to share it with someone. And of course he congratulated me and I have this image of cherry trees surrounding me, is there even cherry trees at the Seattle Center parking lot?
In the evening my friends all gathered in a Madrona pub for me. It feels surreal now but they were all there: Matt and Elisabeth and daughter Becca, Terry and Doug and kids Reed and Zoe, Maria and little Niko, Annie and Harold, and of course my aunt Helen. My sister Autumn didn’t show though, she basically stood me up!
I was pretty darned disappointed and mad at her as I drew back to her house. Hours later she walked in. Well, the thing was, she had been delayed at work. Which I think had turned to a bar or pub thing. Because there was this new guy… and he was trouble…