the color of spring

I volunteer once a week at the Seattle Bilingual Orientation Center, a public school in the Seattle school district that serves exclusively English Language Learners and helps them transition into the regular school system. I volunteered with them back when I was at Seattle Pacific, because their school was right on the top of Queen Anne Hill, just about a mile from my university. I found out that the school has moved since then, to a much smaller school (and even then, they share it with another school). On the one hand the move was good, because, for heaven's sake, did they expect refugee and immigrant families to live in the Queen Anne neighborhood? It's now located in Capitol Hill, and although this area probably does not house many recently-arrived immigrants either, it's at least on the East side. I have to admit that, despite several years living in Seattle, I didn't often go much to this area. I went back and forth to the Century Ballroom for salsa-dancing, but mostly I just heard of it being where the crazies of Seattle lived (according to people who, of course, attended SPU).
Volunteering at this school gave me a chance to get to know the neighborhood a little bit. It's actually only about a mile and a half from the ferry terminal, but it's up some wicked hills and across I-5. I take the bus. I volunteer in a classroom and help kids with their homework after school until 4:30. I have class at UW at 6, so it gives me some time to wander the neighborhood, and even stop at Trader Joes. There's something I simply love about walking neighborhood, even if it's not mine. My sister and I used to go on walks with our dog, Sable, to see the llamas up on Scenic or to feed the ducks at a neighborhood pond. She said she liked walking best at night, because you could see into people's houses and see how they lived. I feel the same way. When I walk, it's not dark, but I still like to see how people fill their lives. I like to see their gardens, their compost piles and their front yards filled with toys. The sidewalks are lined with grand old trees, some of which have public notices attached that forewarn their impending extraction. They even assign values to trees. $6500, to be precise. How do you come up with a number for something like that?

Anyway, these pictures are of my recent wanders on Capitol Hill. It has certainly been a dreary and gray winter, but the colors of spring have been that much more vivid!

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© Reuben + ErinMaira Gall