I lived more than half a century without ever giving that part of the country too much thought. I never had any burning desire to visit Seattle or take in the view from the Space Needle while drinking coffee, because that's what you do in Seattle, right?
It was a part of America on my list of maybe one day on my way to Alaska or Vancouver we'll plan a layover there and watch fish fly while sipping Starbucks, but it certainly wasn't anywhere near the top of my list.
Yes I have a list.
Also, Starbucks isn't really even my thing so nope, never had a burning desire to explore the PNW.
Except now my daughter lives there.
Having a child (okay she's a grown married woman, but still she's my girl) live on the west coast was never on my radar. Not even a little bit. But she does, so I've made three trips to the area in the past eighteen months, and y'all I'm completely in awe of the beauty. It's so green and I kind of want to break into song when I'm there '...and the hills the greenest green in Seattle...' Raise your hand if you grew up watching Here Come The Brides?
My daughter doesn't technically live in Seattle, a bit south of there actually but close enough. The geography might even be prettier where she lives because Mt. Rainer can be seen in all it's snow capped glory from the walking paths in her very own neighborhood. When I'm visiting I'm like that ridiculous tourist who walks around with her jaw hanging open while looking up, snapping a bajillion pictures as I go.
Mt. Rainer is just crazy big and beautiful.
And the trees! They're so tall and so green and so tall. I leave there with a crick in my neck, and don't even get me started on the water. I've made it clear on my blog how I feel about water, but every body of water is just a little bit different, and Puget Sound is one of the loveliest.
Now I have a child who lives there, and while it's beautiful it's also a long, long way from here to there.
When you're a young mom assuring your kindergartner she can indeed go into the birthday party room/Sunday School class/ballet lesson while you wait just outside the door, you do not for one minute imagine there will come a day that same child will live thousands of miles away and love it. LOVE it!
And when you do you'll flash back to the small girl child who needed time to size up every situation before jumping in. You'll scroll through a mental timeline of the seasons you've walked together, and will note how each one made her ready to embrace the right now.
You'll feel waves of gratitude for the way God fits our lives so perfectly into place. At the way He orders our steps and prepares us for what's next before we even have an inkling of what's next.
On my recent impromptu trip west my daughter and I were walking and I was blabbering on about how lucky she is to live in a place filled with so much natural beauty, and she declared that God poured on the pretty in The Evergreen State.
We decided maybe God created from east to west and when it came time for Washington He had a lot of green paint left and some extra mountains too. We like to say He made it extra pretty there because it is. Extra extra pretty.
So when the day comes and roles are reversed, and you're the one who doesn't want to let go of the hand holding yours, and your once upon a time hesitant kindergartner reassures you life is an adventure and right now hers is Washington, well...
Knowing she's landed in the middle of extra extra pretty helps a lot.