Monday, August 04, 2008

walking the locks

When I was a kid my sister and I spent frequent weekends at my grandparents' place on Three Tree Point in their "Princess Suite" -- the Mother-in-Law apartment over the garage that they renovated after my Great Gram passed away.

It was a crazy mash up of Danish modern furnishings and flocked wallpaper, my Bompa's idea of high style.

Weekends meant waffles and classic movies (Zorro or Shane or the Sound of Music which would send my grandmother into her own trilling rendition of Climb Every Mountain) -- and field trips. The University of Washington when the cherry trees bloomed in the Quad. Long drives through my Bompa's old neighborhood or around the Peninsula. The Garden Room at Frederick and Nelson's to lunch on chicken pot pie.

Field trips in the spring when the salmon were running meant a drive to the Ballard Locks to see Bompa's Fish.

Which bored me to tears.

Fish. Swimming. Upstream.

Got it.

But I never said that out loud. And although Bompa may have guessed that I was barely interested he never tried to win me over. We just walked the locks. And watched the fish. And monitored the tedious passage of boats and ships from fresh to salt water and back again.

So I guess I shouldn't be surprised at how that gentle meditation worked its way into my bones. How the muscle memory is triggered every time I go back to that place, like I did this last weekend, to walk the locks, and watch the fish, and the passage of ships.

How it summons up the memory of his brisk walk beside me, his gentle gestures, the swell of his chest as he breathed in the excitement and watched his fish run.

Got it.

green (blue?) door

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