8" x  10" 
i was born in the city of the soft petal. i lived in a small cul-de-sac called trumpeter drive, in mount vernon washington, until i was five. this roundabout was where i first learned to ride a bike without training wheels. i have a few shining memories from those years: eating burgers at the chuckwagon and watching the model train go round the ceiling; making clay hearts from the freshly dug foundation of new construction across the street from my house; the mysterious neighbor lady with the chair elevator that moved her up the stair handrail, the crystal bowl full of lemondrops on her coffee table; my first little boyfriend getting stung by a bee and puffing up like a marshmallow man... my parents left for a better life when i was just about six, and they never looked back.

now that i've moved so close to my birthplace, i have come to understand a little more about myself. trumpeter drive, once just a name of a street, is now a signifier of the thousands of trumpeter swans that fly over my new home every winter, honking ecstatically, their white bodies stark against the black mud of the soggy fallow fields... and the chuckwagon restaurant, with its roughly carved wooden statues of Indians and pioneers: referencing the beginnings of this fertile land, full of the opportunity that the bountiful ocean, forest, rivers and valley have to offer.

it was a small town, and my folks had to leave. it was becoming claustrophobic in the ways that small towns often do. but now that i'm back, and without any prejudice, i can see it in all of it's guts and glory. a refugee from a suburban upbringing
and the buzz and clatter of city life, i now find myself unwinding to the natural rhythm of the land and its seasons. coincidentally, i'm happier than i've been in quite a while.

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