Letting some things be mysteries

Dear President Trump,

Last night Laura and I took the dogs for a decompression walk up at the walled-but-not-gated country club at the top of the View Ridge neighborhood in NE Seattle. It’s fairly close to our house and there’s a loop around the homes that’s bordered on the other side by the small golf course that hugs the perimeter of the property. Some of the homes are eye-candy so that part’s fun, but it’s really the quiet and the views we go there for.

A couple of weeks ago we had to take what Laura’s dad used to call “evasive maneuvers” to avoid some other dogs and so we took the loop in the opposite direction than usual. I don’t know if you ever take real walks outside or do so enough to go on the same route multiple times going in the same and the opposite direction, but it’s pretty humbling to see a “new” tree the 100th time you’ve passed it (which happened for us yesterday with a quite large, lovely gumdrop shaped deciduous tree of an as-yet unknown type). Going in this new-to-us direction has also let us see more clearly just how high up the development is relative to Lake Washington to the East. The country club is less than half a mile away from the lake and sits about 300’ above it (it seems further and higher to me but Laura is excellent with maps and she figured it out).

In addition to the beauty of feeling humbled by seeing a “new” old thing we’ve passed a bunch of times, another motivation for telling you so much about which way we walked and the elevation is that there’s this fairly long stretch where we can look out over the lake and see the ruffled surface of the water and the unruly currents over a mile away (it’s a huge lake). The currents look like they’re going every which way out there. What’s super nice is that I don’t have a clue how those currents work, and further, it’s lovely not to need to know, to just be content to appreciate it.

There’ve been three more such things since last night’s unruly currents that slot right in with them. Next up was the waning but almost full moon rising over the big fir trees on the hill up from our house and how, in the space of just a couple of minutes, we could see the progress it was making when it typically feels impossible to see the moon moving in real time.

Then this morning as I started out on my run, the dogwood tree in the next block let loose a steady shower of creamy white dogwood petals that drifted down in a three-foot diameter column on the left hand side for about 30 seconds. There was no discernible wind and I was close enough that I would’ve heard if there’d been a squirrel or a bird rustling around causing the petal drop, so I don’t know. I’ve never seen such a thing except maybe in the Akira Kurosawa movie, Dreams, but even there it was more of an all around flurry of petals and not a singular column (and it wasn’t real life like this).

And finally there was a flicker at the very tippy top of an old telephone poll near the dogwood tree pecking away at it causing the phone poll to reverberate like a drum, very loudly.

Yes, I could do some research and figure out the science behind three of these four phenomena (I don’t think the dogwood petal mystery is science-y solvable, but maybe a botanist could tell me otherwise). My appreciation of them would probably be even deeper if I went to that trouble, but between you, what the Democrats are and are not doing, my work, what’s going on in my family and neighborhood, there’s so much I feel a responsibility to understand that it’s nice to just let some stuff be and simply enjoy it.

May we be safe and open to the world.
May we be happy to let some things be without a bunch of scrutiny.
May we balance our learning and our being.
May we have the courage to be peace and kindness.

Sincerely,
Tracy Simpson

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