It's funny, but a close brush with opportunity (a job, elsewhere, which would have required a move) really served to ground me here. Coming in a close second after a very protracted series of interviews was a blessing in disguise: it's May, and there is absolutely no better time to be stuck in Wickersham.
I was riding the school bus to Bellingham today with 40 odd second graders (field trip-chaperoning with my daughter's class) and really feeling the majesty of this place. The contrast was part of it: inside, raucous voices, squirming bodies, rattling fixtures, a roaring engine. Outside, acres upon acres of brilliant green hayfields, bales standing in the sun. Waterfalls cascading down densely forested mountainsides. Glaciated peaks looming, brilliant, on the horizon. Songbirds flitting among native dogwoods. The Nooksack River flowing lazily in its course. Trees bedecked in pink and white blossoms. Gardens standing naked, black earth at the ready. I don't know if you're sick of hearing this yet, but I live in an amazing place. These children are lucky. Some of them have never known anything else.
We are all so lucky to live here, to breathe this air and see these sights and eat from these gardens. We are lucky to know and respect our teachers, our firefighters, our postal workers, our farmers, our builders, our merchants, our neighbors.
When I stopped for gas at the Acme General Store this afternoon, the clerk's voice blasted over the intercom to the driver pulling in beside me. "Happy Birthday!" rattled the tinny voice. The driver laughed, and pressed the button on our end. "You remembered!"
I would not trade a town like this for anything.