Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
At least I assume gathering in a pod and moving around together for a while means I’m an orca. Otherwise I guess it means I’m a Northwest Service Academy AmeriCorps intern participating in our first, but by no means last, “pod meeting.” On Friday, all the interns in my “pod” — most everybody in Washington State — gathered at the Pike Place Market in Seattle. One of the interns, Jenni, and her significant other stayed with my family Thursday and Friday night. They drove from Okanogan and needed a place to stay rather than spending 12 hours driving and 8 hours in Seattle.
The meeting had its high points. I always enjoy the Pike Place Market; no matter how many times I visit, the excitement and vigor always infect me. Showing Jenni and Sam around a bit before the meeting started reminded me of how remarkable and unique the Market is. We test-tasted some fabulous chocolate, watched cheese as Beechers employees stirred it and of course tried a sample, and then wandered through the arcade and sampled some Chukar Cherries, chocolate linguine (we agreed: a little weird, and I can’t imagine eating them with ice cream as dessert…or eating them at all, honestly), and, of course, dried fruit. We also saw a Newfoundland puppy, young enough to be terrified of the Market but almost full-sized and thus impossible to manhandle, hiding under a delivery truck. The owners were trying to yank it out, and it had dug its feet in and was cowering away under the truck as they tugged on it. It looked like the dog had slipped out of its collar somehow.
Anyway, that’s the market — all sorts of little vignettes that you constantly walk in and out of. Eventually we met up with the other interns at Athenian Inn restaurant, ordered food, and spent almost two hours catching up. I enjoyed seeing my fellow interns again, since between times I’m very much off doing my own stuff, but I had forgotten how different I end up feeling after spending time with my peers. My priorities are aligned on such a different plane than theirs that sometimes I’m kind of amazed we can relate at all, but we can and I enjoy it when that happens.
After eating, we walked to the SAM’s Olympic Sculpture Park and absorbed some culture. I always forget how much I enjoy art, although I don’t pretend to understand it. That’s the only point during the day when I wished I had brought my camera, but then I remembered that I worked just over a mile from there and the sculptures would still be there. As 2:00 neared, we meandered back to Pier 56, where one of the interns had arranged for a speaker to talk to us about fundraising. I’m embarrassed to admit that I may have dozed off during that talk, but the room felt so warm, and staying awake at 2:00 pm is difficult in general — well, it happens to the best of us. I found the part of the discussion I stayed awake for interesting, though.
That pretty much marked the end of our AmeriCorps-able hours. It seemed everybody wanted to start drinking at 5 pm, so I went with them and — take this as you will — was carded for the first time in my life, when entering a bar with everybody else. I endured about 2 hours of that but when people started closing their tabs and talking about moving on to a different bar, I gathered up Jenni and Sam (both much more cheerful than earlier in the day) and we trundled down to the International District, where I had to pick a thing up from work. By chance we caught the 124 bus, which I’ve heard is the most dangerous Metro route. Hmm. Yes. Anyway, after that brief stop, we scooted to the Transit Tunnel, where we picked up the 255 to within a mile of our house. Happily the 234 appeared right then, so we caught that to within 1/4 mile of our house. A brief stop at Safeway for some late-night snack food for Jenni and Sam rounded out the travel for the day.
By the end of the day, these last 2 weeks had started taking their toll. Two weekends ago, we thought Grandma Sullivan would pass away (she’s still hanging in there, by the way); last weekend, I endured the LCI Seminar assisting; and in between I had two exhausting, grueling weeks at the Bike Alliance, where I felt totally run off my feet and overwhelmed every single day. Let’s not even mention the tabling I did with a couple other Bike Alliance employees on Wednesday in Tacoma from 7 to 9 pm.
Suffice it to say that by Friday evening “tired” didn’t even start to describe it.