Run to the Sea

I saw a neighbor dad explaining to his daughter how the rain water goes into the sewer and travels to be cleaned at the plant by Discovery Park before it’s released to Puget Sound and suddenly I couldn’t breathe. The dad looked sheepishly at me, almost embarrassed by his talk, and all I could hear was Chris teaching the girls about this very same system over and over again during their childhoods. But they know it now: how the rainwater collects and drains into the sewer that leads to the station at Discovery Park, where the water is filtered before it runs back to the Sound. The girls could explain it to their own kids someday. The tears were fast and I had to slow my breathing down and walk on to work. The immense grief at being here, right before age 50 with a joyful 17-year-old who is ready for college: it stops me until I give myself space to sob.

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