Like a cool rain after months of scorching heat and drought, or the first savory bite after a long fast, the Tacoma sun bursts through clouds gray with water, showering the people with golden light and offering a reason to venture outside. Outside, to the abundant parks among the pines and firs and sacred cedar.
The Ventura sun, no less radiant, is the regular at the pub – we’ve heard his stories many times, and while they never get old, they become a part of life’s routines. The sun here, an errant and fleeting presence, stays only for awhile, a traveler. We see him, hear his stories, hang on every word. And he’s gone, down the road in a veil of mist and vapors.
I rode my bike in this sun yesterday. I felt my body absorbing vitamin D, stopped at Puget Park to play my horn to the ravine that cuts through North Tacoma. I listened to its ferny banks echo the music, just three blocks from where music from that same brass echoed in the Mason Middle School auditorium 13 years ago.
I am grateful for this sun. My friends and family here are like to the Tacoma sun, now. No more or less important than before but each interaction, conversation, hand-shake, smile holding a greater weight, heavy with the significance of long years of presence before and long years of absence to come.
I hugged my nephew the other night as I left my sister’s house in Puyallup after a brief visit. He clung to me. He and my nieces want to know why I moved, why I can’t stay. I have no answer they will understand.
The Tacoma son is fleeting.