My weekly drive to Seattle to spend time in the company of the magnificent Elliot is a mixed bag (the drive, not Elliot). I nearly always like the 20-minute stretch of I-5 from Centralia to Tumwater, and through the Nisqually delta, and despise the drag from Fort Lewis (now Joint Base Lewis-McChord or JBLM, and who came up with that mouthful?) to my destination—although Fife, the armpit of the I-5 corridor at the north edge of Tacoma, does have a spectacular view of Mt. Rainier; and today, as it turns out, of the rising sun ball.
But today, the drive at dawn across the prairie to Olympia was so glorious, I turned off my book, forgot about my latte, and just drank it in. If I were a real photographer (that is one whose business it was to go out searching for photo ops with a real camera and actually getting off the road every time I wanted to), I would have been late for my caregiving gig.
I seriously considered calling my sister. “Get out of bed, this minute,” I imagined myself saying, “throw on a sweatshirt and your shoes and get yourself down the road. You won’t be sorry.” Perhaps she will be sorry I didn’t call. Or not; it was 5:40AM.
The sky was just beginning to streak pale golden pink across the eastern horizon, the triplet mounds of the silhouetted Rainier rising into it. Ground fog floated just above the prairie grass, the ghostly firs like mirages beneath its surface with their perfect points emerging, reaching toward the sky that would soon be blue. The yellow eyes of houses whose occupants were up early glowed eerily through the mist next to faded out gray barns.
My heart grew so big I thought there might not be room in my chest. My eyes filled.
And then there was the sunrise.
And then there was Elliot.