Tomorrow we pack up the SUV, grab our running shoes and the dog and head down to Seward for a book signing at Cover to Cover bookstore.
I was lucky enough to live down in Seward for almost two years, writing and editing The Seward Phoenix Log. It was a bittersweet time. I loved living at the edge (Seward is at the end of the Alaska road system, nestled between Resurrection Bay and mountains), loved waking up to mountains outside my window, loved the silence of walking along the beach in the autumn, no one else around but the dog. I loved the winter storms, which were fierce and unrelenting and shook the house so hard that one night the grandfather clock actually inched across the floor. I loved how the air smelled of salt and fish, loved running the mountains each evening in the summer twilight. It was a magical time. It was one of the best times of my life, in a sense.
Yet the town was too small for me (population about 2,000), or maybe I was too big for it, or maybe my ambitions were too big or I just thought they were too big. Whatever the case, after the company that owned the newspaper folded, I stayed around for another few months, writing and talking long winter walks with the dog, and finally moved back up to Anchorage. I still don’t know if it was the right decision. Seward offered so many things yet, as a writer, I didn’t feel that there was a large enough creative or artistic community.
I thought that I wanted, or needed, to live in a larger town. I’m no longer sure if that’s the case. Anchorage is so big (about 350,000) that I often feel overwhelmed. I can’t handle the traffic. It’s noisy. There are so many people.
I grew up in a small farming community, so maybe I will always long for small places, even if they don’t fit. Or maybe I have a restless nature and will always yearn for and dream of the places I leave behind. I only know that there is an ache inside of me, right below my breastbone, a small flutter that sings whenever I think of Seward. In a way, even though I lived there less than two years, I consider it home.
I returned to Anchorage last January and am still fighting the transition. Though perhaps that’s my nature, perhaps I will never be truly happy in one place. Perhaps if I were to move back to Seward, I would long for Anchorage and the trails I love up here: Campbell Creek and Powerline Pass, Wolverine and Turnagain Arm.
Still, I couldn’t help noticing that this is for sale in Seward, a perfect little yellow house. Isn’t it cute? Doesn’t it look like a cozy writing spot?
Until tomorrow, I am dreaming of Seward.