Indeed their love, their hate and their zeal have already perished, and they will no longer share in all that is done under the sun.
For most of my life I didn’t really appreciate you. Although I enjoyed the outdoors, I took for granted your soaring mountains, your rolling farmland, your wide blue ocean. I never appreciated how temperate your summers feel, their gentle cool mornings heralding another perfect, low-humidity 70° day; and your winters, too, that seldom drop below 35°, letting us (your loving residents) maintain one wardrobe, rather than two. I overlooked the amusement of seeing Washingtonians in their bright blue Gore-Tex raincoats, standing umbrellaless waiting for something. I didn’t really appreciate the joy of riding a ferry to the Olympic Peninsula, standing on the far front and feeling the wind almost pull you off your feet. Your beautiful greenness, the way you’re blanketed with evergreens, deciduous trees, and a plethora of other growing things, never swelled my heart to joy. I never realized what a blessing I experienced by hiking without having to worry about anything worse than a mosquito bite.
Oh, I complained plenty about your high sales tax, the drippy grey skies that plague outsiders (but we natives understand that it’s not so much depressing as calm) and leave us with 95 straight days of rain. I bemoaned the squishy feeling of banana slug between my toes. I grumbled about having to mow the lawn almost year-round. I kept irritated tabs on the speed of 405 North between Bellevue and 124th(25 miles an hour between 3:45 and 7:00 pm). I felt outraged at the wanton logging of old-growth forests and the rapid construction of identical housing developments on what used to be pristine forest. There are lots of things I didn’t like about you, Washington.
That is, until I moved to Massachusetts. Don’t get me wrong: Massachusetts (besides having an almost unspellablly tricky name) is a pretty decent place. I’d like to vacation there, but watch out for ticks. But Washington, now I see your charms. My family lives in you, and that’s appealing, I admit. Yet now I clearly perceive many of your benefits, while the costs seem so minor as to be laughable. I love your weather, your geology, your people. I know you’re not perfect, but now I can see a broader view of what a wonderful place you are to live. So Washington, I hope you’ll wait for me. One day I’ll come home to you, and I promise I’ll never leave you again after that.
Now I have to pack the U-Haul Ian and I will drive to Marlborough, bringing the last vestiges of our Washington life to a new Massachusetts life.