Guess where I am? My friend sends me a photo of a nondescript body of water. There’s not a lot to go off of but I recognize it like I’d recognize the inside of my apartment.
Anacortes. I say. I don’t tell him I had a dream about that small Washington town the night before.
I lived in Anacortes once. Lived is, perhaps, a generous term. I passed through for long enough to fall in love with it… which is to say longer than a day. I stayed for a month and a half more. I’ve been to Anacortes three times. In July. In November/December. In August/September. I have loved it madly each time.
My friend tells me their plans… where they will be exploring. The familiar and the unknown. It is my turn to reply. I’m so jealous. I start to type. And to be fair, perhaps a bit of me is. But those letters in that form seem to hollow me. They sink. They make me think of a place I am missing.
I’m so excited for you. I write instead.
Because I am excited for them. And I am touched that they remember my stories of that place. And I am joyful thinking of someone else experiencing that crisp ocean air, the view of Mount Baker, my favorite bookstore.
The amended text message, new letters in a new form, seems to lift me. I feel light as I remember my first walk down Commercial Avenue, my first ride on the Guemes Ferry, my first run on the Tommy Thompson trail.
Perhaps, as I have always known, there is a power in words, even in the words we shoot back in a quick text in the middle of a busy day. Perhaps, as I am constantly learning, there is a beauty in cheering for everyone and letting their joy be yours.