Saturday, April 7, 2012

Oh, What the Sun Can Do...

Today is a beautiful day in Seattle! It's days like these that help me to remember why I moved to Washington in the first place. When I visited Seattle in the summer of 2009, I knew that the sun and clear skies were not the norm of the Pacific Northwest, but it still roped me in. Walking through Pike Place Market then was just as beautiful as it is today.

I realize now that I never really wrote in this blog about that trip. I came to Seattle with one of my best friends, Scott "Tiger" Kelly, to visit our recently-married friends, Jenn and Ron. The trip was right before I started graduate school at Pitt, so it was the transition into a new chapter in my life. I began writing in my favorite journal during that trip, which I filled up over the course of a year, so my thoughts that week remained mostly private. The NW provided a new perspective, a new place, possibilities. When I returned home from that trip, I knew I wanted to head west someday.

It's been pretty surprising that heading west happened so soon. When I left Seattle in 2009, I felt like I would finish my graduate program and relocate here. I really thought I'd wimp out and stay in Pittsburgh, yet here I am sitting in a coffee shop in Ballard, listening to the Pirates game online, thinking about how this is close to home now. Not close enough, though, because I certainly prefer Seattle to my actually home of Tacoma.

Tacoma is blue collar and reminds me of where I've come from in Beaver County. For that reason, though, it's unsettling. Walking down 6th Avenue on a weekend night or having to shop in the Tacoma Mall reminds me so much of Beaver County that it feels like I've never left, in a lot of ways. My experience in Tacoma is a lot like how I would feel if I lived in Beaver County again now. Satisfied with some good people around and a lower price tag than the nearby metropolis, but still not exactly in the center of the action like I'd want to be. Living in Seattle is not a feasible option, so I don't dwell on it much. But I do think this adventure would have a different feel if I were living here.

In the end, though, it's all about perspective. The sun is shining today and I would love being anywhere with weather like this. I love spending days like this walking around with Sam (and, this weekend, her BFF Emily), but I'd probably enjoy this relaxing Saturday with her anywhere that it's sunny. My perspective is different today because the sun is shining on everything we see.

That's the way things should be with Jesus in our hearts. When we remember God's love in our life, everything feels sunny. My life so far from home often gives me significant homesickness, but I do acknowledge that God brought me here. Through a serendipitous series of events, I landed in Tacoma without having experienced much anxiety during my job search this past summer. This was God-driven, which gives me peace.

Tomorrow we celebrate the resurrection of Christ on Easter. Christ's love reminds us that even though death appeared to have won at one point, life and love do eventually prevail. Christ will overcome death on Easter. Sunny days are ahead.

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