Place Where You Live:

Bainbridge Island, Washington

I took a walk with Gus today at Gazzam Lake. It wasn’t raining when we left the house. It sure was when we got out of the truck. Of course I only brought coffee, slip-ons and a light jacket. I was still soaked in cold rain before we even made it to the trail. Gus wouldn’t hear of turning back. He’d picked up the smell of something wild and exciting so we were off.

Today we took the Westwood Shore Trail. It takes you to the NW corner of the park, where, if you slide your way down a mile or so of soggy switch backs, you access a small strip of secluded beach. Down on the water, under the oldest trees, I found some much needed cover from the rain while Gus, and his endless energy, bounced through the small waves, crawled up and around and over massive logs, and dug up prime bits of driftwood for chewing.

Bainbridge Island seems almost metropolitan since our move back in September. I cringe at the (probably delicious) wine bar where Bainbridge Hardware was and the housing developments replacing unofficial trails from my childhood. Things are faster, funky is cool now, and there are fewer quiet, unknown places left. This morning, on the beach at Gazzam Lake, I was refreshed, feeling like I was in a secret spot. Just me and Gus.

The private property signs, although understated, were still skirting the park. And a few fellow walkers were decked out in $1,000 worth of rain gear, but it was a reminder that I am not the only person worried about these places. Our community worked hard to put aside this park. To keep the developers away.

So, seeking solitude in the woods with my dog, I remembered how connected I am to my community. What actions will I take, today, tomorrow, next week to become a stronger part of that community and a louder voice for what’s important?