Life has a way of creating beautiful moments at the most unexpected times. Every weekday, I engage in a four-hour commute from where I live to the University of Washington. To break it down briefly, that is two hours of transitioning from car to ferry to train to light rail to foot twice a day. Today, after persevering through two midterms and drafting a paper, I started my trek home. Stepping off the light rail onto a crowded platform, I moved my way to a creaking escalator. I am never quite sure about the integrity of the contraption, having witnessed it out of order several times in the past month. As I slowly crept upward, I braced myself for the sights and smells that hallmarks Pioneer Square in Seattle today. With at least one mission shelter close by the profusion of homeless is profound. My heart is wrenched at such sites every day. Almost to the mezzanine notes of lilting beauty wafted around me in waves. The instrumental strains captured my imagination. Who was the creator of such an enchanting oasis of sound? I walked out onto the mezzanine still unable to see the source of the music. Curiouser and curiouser, I rounded the corner. I am not quite sure what I expected, certainly not what greeted my eyes. For a split second, I found myself transported to an Ireland where I have never been. A short, broad-shouldered man with a full beard glinting red and moss colored eyes smiled at me. I smiled back sharing with him the impact of his playing. Then, I did something completely uncharacteristic. I dropped whatever money I had from my pocket into the open fiddle case at his booted feet. It was only a trifling. However, he smiled kindly and thanked me. I turned and let the music follow me up the stairs to the street where the smells of fresh urine, booze, and pot awaited. Pockets of beauty are everywhere even in the most dismal of environments. The question is, do you see it?
Thank you for reading. It is good to be back!
J. R. Lowe