The Localist

Discovery Park

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Breathe deeply. The air smells like rain and wet earth and a hint of sea salt. It is cold and crisp – I imagine the sprawling river of passageways in my lungs filling with blue. A revitalizing, clean kind of blue. To the right of my narrow dirt path, thick fir trees and heather intersperse turning trees, leaves blazing orange, red, brown, making their way slowly to the ground as Fall turns into Winter in the North West. To the left, below the sand bluffs, lies the vast expanse of Sound. It is cobalt today, a deeper shade of the sky, twinkling in the autumn sun, and a little boat is braving the cold to take in this glorious day. One trips about with a feeling that magic may happen. And whether it’s the sudden impulse for adventure that sailing ships stir up, or the feeling of being breathless and brimming at the same when the sun touches the sea and everything turns gold, or the discovery of foggy sea glass when you’re least expecting it; it does happen.

But some days this park is stormy. The sky is bruised with angry clouds of gray and black and purple, fog settles into the branches of trees, and the sea is the color of lead and swirls with white-capped waves. And it is wildly beautiful.

It doesn’t matter what state of stress or business or joy I find myself in, there is always a sense of peace at Discovery Park. The sense of peace that comes with the fullness of nature putting life into perspective, with the knowledge that there is ample beauty in the world, with feeling that there are good things greater than ourselves. The park covers 534 acres and just beyond its chain link boundary is the city of Seattle – a thriving urban sprawl of skyscrapers and restaurants and shops and homes that suddenly feels miles and miles away as soon as you are wending your way through any of the park’s trails.

Discovery Park is the perfect place for a hike without having to travel hours to get to the mountains. It has bluffs, and mountain views, and beaches, and meadows – and birds and rabbits galore. Walk, jog, bring your kids, take a picnic there in the summer, or grab coffee for your walk at any of the grocery stores or coffee shops in the neighborhood if it’s too cold to sit outside for long.

The park has easily become one of my favorite spaces in this beautiful city, in all its dynamic and moody beauty. It asks you to stay awhile – exploring, reading, writing, dreaming, clearing your mind. It becomes almost impossible not to take a breath and reset.

MEET THE LOCAL: STEPHANIE RUBESH

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