Machines, culture, peace, urban, green, unique, steam, yoga, sunshine, sidewalk seas, view, retreat, home. Gasworks Park; Officially my favorite place in all of Seattle.
When you first walk in, you see the Dr. Seuss-esque hill, with its winding sidewalk trail to the top. Then you are distracted by the monumental, rusty structures that were once the gas refinery machines, towering above the park and hiding under structures, inviting you to explore, climb and scramble around them. As you crest the top of the hill, your breath is taken by the beauty of the view: Seattle at its best, laid out like a deck of cards for you to take in every detail of the shimmering buildings (whether by glinting sunlight or the shining city night-lights), the space needle reminding you where you are, the trees and the water refusing to be overcome by concrete and man. The trails lead you haphazardly around the nooks and crannies of the park; from the edge of the lake with its joyful houseboats, to the steps leading to the steam-punk structures, or through the trees to the ducks and flowers and secret swinging bench.
This place holds my heart– I have always loved the look and feel of it, and now I am happy to fully live my life in it, after three years of calling Seattle my home.
Evenings of Sunset Yoga outside, with fellow park lovers, feeling the grass beneath our feet and the breeze off the water, looking up to the painted clouds and being thankful for exactly where we are. Focusing on balance when dancers from many cultures practice around me, with the sound of drum circles and cloggers in my ears.
Initiations of Student Ministry Coordinators at early sunrise hours, dressed in capes and love of the people with us. Dancing our hearts out at the top of the hill, cheering on the early morning runners through the park, praying and ‘breaking bread’ with coffee and doughnuts.
Finding my nook on the edge of the lake, tucked in a wall, soaking up the spring sunshine and actually feeling warm. Bringing out my ukulele, writing songs, playing for children, singing to my city. This is where I can remember to be happy for my blessings and the precious days of sun there are.
Running around the steam-punk structures with friends and loved ones– racing and climbing and allowing the child-like curiosity of my seven-and-a-half-year-old-self to come to the surface and define me for an afternoon. Hiding out under the shelters from the rain outside, watching martial art drills, taking pictures, pointing at the many kites being flown in celebration of life.
My heart brimming with love and hope as I stand at the top of the hill, taking in my city-scape, holding hands, hugging friends, watching the moonrise, seeing the romance. This park has seen me at many stages of growth over the past three years, and I know it will continue to do so. It’s become a magical place to me; an escape, while at the same time a place I want to take all the people I care about, so they too can share my wonder for this unique, solid, quirky, piece of home.