Ahhh - vacation!
I endeavor now to take you with me into my alternate universe: Idaho.
The dogs and I make another pilgrimage to Idaho on the last day of August. It's a long drive, but always worth it. Working with dysfunctional families in the legal system wears on me; a trip to Idaho is the needed anecdote. The setting sun - using the particulates of far-off wildfire smoke to cast a lovely pink glow - welcomes us.
|A Meadows Valley sunset welcomes us to Idaho.|
For the past three years, because of the recession and other circumstances, I have resided primarily in the Seattle area, but I visit my place in Idaho's mountains - where I lived full time between 2005-2008 - as often as I can.
That back-and-forth life has allowed me to hone in on stark differences between the two locations.
First and foremost: noise. Cities like Seattle, and their suburbs, have a constant blare of engines and other stressful sounds that I didn't pay close attention to until I left it behind and realized how quiet rural life is. Before moving to Idaho, I had no true comparison. Now, when I'm living in Washington, I'm hyper-alert to every leaf blower, lawn mower, nearby highway full of cars and trucks, emergency siren, commercial jet airplane flying overhead, cranked up car stereo, barking dog, screaming child and bickering couple... you get the idea. When in Washington, I long for the sounds of rural Idaho. In Idaho, I hear...crickets; deer screeching in disgust at the dogs in my yard (which they deem their territory) as they pass by at dusk; ravens fighting over food in the forest; cows mooing in nearby rancher's pastures; the wind rustling through the pines; coyotes howling and yipping in the dead of night; and, most of all: the sound of silence filling the spaces between those other sounds. I actually hear nothingness. I see stars in the big night sky because there are no city lights obscuring their soft glow from my view. The full moon - a blue moon on August 31st - sheds an ephemeral light over the quiet and still landscape. It is so...peaceful. Peace full.