Wednesday, October 29, 2008

emerald sanity

I love mist. I love the scent of earth folded in on itself and dreaming under a blanket of leaf fall. I love the layers of green and gold and grey that is autumn on the edge of Puget Sound, the slish of water running up the beach, the crows and the gulls croaking and crying back and forth between land and sea.

I went to the park yesterday. The salmon aren't running yet. The chipmunks are all asleep. The kids are back in school. It was as empty as the end of the world. Full of promises.

At the entrance to the park is a chemical toilet. (A big truck comes by every couple of days and picks it up and puts a new fresh one in its place. Pretty astonishing.) It's owned and maintained by a company called Emerald Sanitary*. The first time I saw the sign on the side I misread it: Emerald Sanity. I had a vision of sad or insane people going into the box, a green light pouring from the ceiling fixture, and them leaving the box with their minds quiet and smooth. Emerald Sanity.

That's what the park does for me. It turns all the noise off. Smoothes the furrows in my face. Slows the beat of my heart. I can recommend it.

* Seattle is sometimes known as the Emerald City. When it was first founded, it was called the Queen City, but the civic dignitaries worried people would associate the city with, well, queens. The park system, alas, has now changed to United Site Services, not nearly as evocative as Emerald Sanitary.

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