Friday, July 06, 2007

Finding Tranquility

Today I stumbled upon a very nice blog talking about time spent on vacation here in Moses Lake, WA. This is where I have lived and raised my family for 14 years. This is the place I have come to love as my home...

A little background...

I was in the US Coast Guard when I moved here, and my selection of Moses Lake as my final billet during my time of service had nothing to do with the charms of Central Washington and everything to do with it's proximity to the Portland area, my original stomping grounds and the home of my immediate family.

I had just completed an entire year of isolated duty above the arctic circle, serving as a Loran Tech in a remote transmitting station on the Bering Sea. Despite the unexpected pleasures and unique experiences I had encountered in the great white north (a story all by itself), I was certainly eager to get back down to the real world and restart a normal life. To get back among the trees.

One wonderful benefit of serving in an isolated post was the privilege of selecting my own new billet rather than leaving it up to some military bureaucrat in an office somewhere. Like I said, I chose Moses Lake (yes, there are Coasties here) because it was relatively close to Portland. I had never been to Central Washington, but I trusted that since it was in the Pacific Northwest, I would soon be living among the trees and mountains once again.

Little did I know. As I left Ellensberg on my exodus to my new home, I was first struck by how dry and barren everything was becoming as i headed east, and as I rose out of the Columbia River gorge at George, I suddenly understood the truth of my situation. Rather than forests and mountains, I would spend at least the next two years in a barren wasteland of sand and scrub brush. Lovely. I could have stayed on the tundra for a view like this. I would be living on the surface of the moon.

Now hold on. That was just my first impression. Like I said before, I have grown to love this place and the longer I stay, the more I appreciate its charms. Rather than living on the surface of the moon, I now feel as though I have discovered my very own Sea of Tranquility here. So I guess I am writing this blog in honor of my adopted hometown.

Why? For several reasons, not least of which is this blog that I have just finished reading. Here is a short quote in case you are in a hurry.

"Last night I sat with family and talked about blogging and kids and family matters, as the fireworks exploded overhead and the children ran around the yard. And somehow, it felt like I had come back to the center of my life, where I am related by blood to those around me, with common experiences and memories and hopes. There's nothing quite like that anywhere else in my life. I have to go to Moses Lake to find it as richly as this."

I read that and thought, "How true. That says it all."

I am fortunate that Moses Lake has become my home. This place has become a haven for so many people in my life, and evidently for many people that I will never even meet. My brother, a Portland high speed professional. My mom, a quality inspector at a high tech firm in southern Oregon. So many come here and tell me how they are rejuvenated, how their batteries are recharged, etc. It's as if the high desert air and the sun itself broil the tension out of life and blow it west to Seattle.

Moses Lake. It's easy luxury. You can come here and just STOP. Breath. Let the sun heat your tired bones. It's old fashioned and modern all at the same time and in all the right ways. When you open your eyes, the stark beauty of this area can overwhelm you. Jump in the lake for a swim. Climb some rocks. Go hunting or fishing. Catch some live music in the cooling twilight or try some local cuisine on the lake. Make new friends. Yep, even the people here are friendly.

My God. Who needs the city?

18 comments:

ms. kitty said...

Loved your post, Jason. Thanks for stopping by Ms. Kitty's and I hope you'll visit again.

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