Morning in Phinney Ridge

Why is day break described as the ‘crack of dawn’?

Dawn doesn’t crack. It seeps gently into our subconscious without a sound, floats over our dreams and then leaves subtly as the sun rises from where it usually does every day wherever we are.

6.00 am – I want to get ready to join the morning yoga class in a studio on the main street near where I’m staying. Like Monday, it was really difficult. Still dark outside, must be cold too, another 4-layer day.

Switched on the TV to bring in some energy into the room and hopefully the hyperactive screen people will get me out of bed with their animated sales pitch. Good. The commercials worked and I managed to arrive on time to start the first class of the day with five other early birds.

The walk-in rate is US$14 for the one-hour class and US$2 for mat rental. It’s less than a 3-course meal in a café here which may not be as satisfying as a good stretch. (Actually that’s self consolation. I’ll choose a meal any time if I have company.)

Anyway Brent a mild-mannered 30-something instructor in his calm yoga voice got us started with breathing exercises while repeating the words ‘being alive is enough’. Hmmm. I began to feel uncomfortable and hoped this isn’t some kind of spiritual class. Luckily he didn’t get too philosophical and the rest of the hour went by quite normally.

After yoga, I got back and tried to do something useful online except I couldn’t get online. After a frustrating hour trying all ways to connect without much success, I decided to take a walk around the neighbourhood, Phinney Ridge.

Like most of Seattle I’ve seen so far, the streets here go up and down offering fantastic views of the mountains in the distant. On a clear day, I can see the snow-capped peaks of the highest mountains in the Olympic and Cascade ranges on both sides of the ridge.

I read that most houses in the vicinity were first built over a hundred years ago and still kept the original chimneys even after renovations and updated fittings. Every house is unique and the entire neighbourhood is organized in an orderly grid-like layout. Numbered streets crossing numbered avenues; north, south, north east/west, south east/west; all systematically arranged. It’s not easy to get lost, except that there are many streets and avenues around Seattle bearing the same numbers. You’ve got to be very specific in locating where you want to go .

The walk turned out to be very refreshing and therapeutic. It’s fun house browsing.  I can walk all day admiring houses and their sweet little gardens filled with so many colourful and fragrant flowers.

But I must go back to fix that annoying internet problem.

Well at least the phone works and I managed to get connected online temporarily. It’s just a fix, not a solution.

Now I’m missing my tech friends back home. Can anyone help?

JY

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