I decided to go up to the attic room until the fogged melted away. I was determined to sit there until the Columbia Tower's black top was visible from across the sound. I could see the dahlias blooming in the garden, I would cut them later and put them by my bedside. It was a Seattle summer morning, clouded in fog while the whole city waited for what the weather man said; something about sunshine by noon. I was wearing a floral sundress, the same one I had fallen asleep in last night; this was the second time this week I slept in my clothes while still propped up with pillows.
I made an egg on toast with some California avocado slices on top, I ate a peach, I drank my coffee, and I thought. I thought and thought and thought. I saw a bald man ride a bike down the alley way and it reminded me of my dad, which made my heart get all tight; homesickness can hit you real hard. I read Psalm 42 and pondered these words: "deep calls to deep in the roar of Your waterfalls; all Your waves and breakers have swept over me." I thought of the jetty in Morro Bay, CA; how the waves would crash over the sides, eating away at the rocks, shaping and molding them, smoothing over their rough edges. I imagined God sweeping over me like those waves, eroding away the roughness, the selfishness, and the shame. It seemed harsh, but the kind of harsh that made you cry because although it hurts, you're finally glad that someone is taking the time to care for you.
I thought of the red head and how he seems so fearless of what is to come in life. The truth is, he just doesn't give a shit about what people think. Because he is so full to the brim with love, there are certain questions that don't even need to be asked; they go without saying. I felt shame in that attic room for all the times I expected more from him simply because I wanted to look good on the outside, for that is no way to love. This red head has humbled me and helped me chip away at the fear that has outlined my future.
As the fog became lighter and the base of downtown finally appeared I played a song that reminded me of when I was 18. I used to sit in this little nook in my parent's house in this padded antique dining room chair; here was where I did the most of my thinking, similar to this attic room. At 18 I was a different woman than I am now. I was little more fearless, but a little more insecure. At that time I hadn't met shame in the way I have now but I hadn't meet confidence either. Now I am a little more anxious but a lot less insecure. I say this because whenever I recall past versions of myself (my "used-to-be's" and "I was's") I mark my changes by the mistakes I have made, not the steps I have made to overcome them. So when I think of my 18 year old "used-to-be" I have to find balance because it is so easy to cloud my memory with times that I thought I was perfect.
On this foggy morning in the attic room, I came to believe that all seasons are balanced and that they essentially have to be. At every age that I am, in every year that I live, I will be full of mistakes and "overcomings". Now, at age 22, my steps are lined with fear but I know that God is aware of all of this. I find hope in His awareness: the way he sent a fearless red head into my life during my days of fearful living, the way He gave me an attic room to gaze at growing dahlias and towering skyscrapers, and the way He uses ocean waves to wash me clean, never keeping me far from the smell of salt water.
Then the fog lifted and I saw the black top of the Columbia Tower.