The stars have aligned for an incredible summer spent bidding farewell to this Emerald City. It has been the best summer weather in years. Sunsets that make you gasp in amazement, night after night. An August blue moon high above the Space Needle, on a clear night, which will not soon be forgotten. Staying up late and sleeping in until sunshine and royal blue skies beckon you outdoors. Over the past weeks, I have been appropriately reminded why I fell in love with Seattle, and just how great it can be, in its own quirky Pacific Northwest way.
Two particularly special evenings in the past couple of weeks have involved our beloved domestic soccer team, the Seattle Sounders FC. First, a gathering with friends at Market Arms in Ballard to watch newly signed Clint Dempsey make his debut, followed by a bonfire at the beach. I don’t even remember if the Sounders won that match. I just recall what a treat it was to watch our city’s team play, followed by drinks & watching the sunset at the beach, all while surrounded by our favorite people who have been in our lives for various amounts of time over the past several years here. But it still just felt like a laid-back little shindig, and not so much a formal goodbye.
((sadly there are no beach pics for fear of ruining the new camera with evil, evil sand))
The second evening was Sunday’s rivalry vs. the Portland Timbers. What timing to have that matchup as the last home game before the start of our road trip. We knew it would be big…they had sold 67,000 tickets for the game! If you don’t know MLS soccer, trust me, it is a LOT ((as in -only three other soccer teams in the WORLD had higher attendance over the very same weekend)).
After losing the Sonics and dealing with a dreadful past decade-plus of the Mariners, this Sounders organization brought sporting life & excitement back to Seattle. This city loves its soccer team like no other city in the USA.
After arriving at the stadium Sunday evening, we quickly headed to our seats to await pre-game rituals & entertainment. Looking around, I started marveling at the sheer visual of tens of thousands of fans eager to begin the chants and cheers that would hopefully motivate their team to victory.
The teams came out of the tunnel, the sun began to slowly set on the buildings which are visible from inside the stadium, the national anthem started to play, and then it happened. That moment when I really felt like it was a goodbye. My eyes filled with tears, and I sobbed like a baby/ugly cried for a good couple minutes. I was overcome with emotion for this adopted city of mine, knowing that this may be the end of our time together. We’ve had our ups and downs. But in that very moment, I felt incredibly grateful for all this city has given me and shown me.
Maybe this will be more like a break instead of a break-up. Maybe we will miss it and want to return here to settle down after our travels. Maybe our eyes will be opened to a new city, a new place to explore, and we will only return to Seattle to move our belongings. That part has all yet to be decided. What I know is this – a piece of my heart will always be here. Thank you, Seattle, for taking me in, and for playing such a huge part in the person who I am today.