I turned off the main road, then turned off again. The evening’s fog settled in dense pockets along the road making it unrealistic to drive the 50 miles an hour the sign post suggested. I slowed my vehicle 40. I was staying at a little known writer’s retreat, somewhere in forests of Greenbank that allegedly perched on the cusp of a cliff overlooking Puget Sound. This was my first of nine nights, and I was desperately looking for the turnoff. I slowed to 30 and off to my right, a buck looked up from grazing. I stopped the car and watched him until the ghostly fog came between us. I put the car in gear and pressed on, turned onto a narrow, fern-lined drive through a forest of pine. Up and up the road curved, impossibly long, until the iron gates appeared. I thrilled at the sign on the gate: Ravensea. I was almost there! The road continued up and then opened onto a stately home with a detached garage, above which the loft was situated.

A lovely place for writers. A lovely place for me.

I never did get to see the Sound from that location, however. I was far too busy writing and traveling back and forth to my residency program to actually see Ravensea in the light of day. But oh, I felt the water, heard it in the night, the scream of gulls, the whisper of wind brushing through the tangle of pine towering overhead.

And the stars… the stars overhead shone like city lights into my borrowed home. Brilliant, moving, speaking to me in a language only my soul could understand.

I had forgotten what it was like to simply gaze in wonder at the vast population of the night sky.

I recommend it.

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