Last month, Colin and I were in Seattle for a long weekend, and we took a day trip to explore Bainbridge Island. We drove our rental car onto the ferry for a short, 25 minute ride from downtown Seattle across the Puget Sound. The ferry was a mix of tourists, like us, and regulars that found the ferry ride so routine they didn’t bother getting out of their cars.
The regulars looked bored and listless, slumped at their steering wheels. They were inured to the beauty of the Seattle skyline, the peaking waves, and the majestic view of Mt. Rainier. They didn’t bother to notice how, on this day, the sky was bluer than normal and cloudless.
We joined the other tourists running around the ferry, taking pictures, and staring out over the water. We watched the land fade at the stern of the boat and sharpen into focus over the bow. We soaked in what we could of the changing sites, knowing we wouldn’t return soon.
Being a tourist is like being a child, everything is new and worthy of notice. It is beginner’s mind, where there are still many possibilities and much to wonder at. It is not practical to travel through life this way all of the time, I realize. But I hope to regularly wake up to it– to look out at the skyline as if it were the first time, just once in a while. To marvel at the wide expanse, the gathering clouds, and the way the light scatters through, gracing all below.
Everyday, I pass through West Oakland as my BART train takes me to work and back. West Oakland is the only station aboveground on my ride. Though the immediate scenery is industrial and harsh, the sky is open, and the view fog rolling in over San Francisco across the bay, or even just a flock of birds escaping the rusty Oakland landscape can be stirring. Few people on my train bother to look out the window, their heads buried in books, earbuds in ears, and many with eyes closed. My new year’s resolution is to take a moment to look up, and notice.
Photos by Colin Price: www.colinprice.photography
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Next week, Leda explores this fundamental question: Can people change? Follow us so you don’t miss out: