After a visit to Sequim, Washington, I propose we color all our states purple, not red and blue. After all, if you mix red and blue–if people are talking together and united in love for our country, our world, and for each other–we’d have purple, right?
We visited Sequim (pronounced “Squim”) one week before its annual Lavender Festival. Purple, lavender, and magenta shades were everywhere. Every shop we wandered into (including a thrift shop) highlighted a display of some kind of those flowery hues near the entry. Besides that, everything was so spiffy and clean we could have eaten our lunch off any sidewalk.
This small city has a lot going for it. Lavender fields, of course. Also, located in the rain shadow on the Olympic Peninsula, close to the beaches of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Sequim Bay, close to the Olympic Mountains, and a couple of hours from Seattle, it’s become a popular retirement city.
The small museum, just off main street, is delightful. One corner features the story of the mastadon bones that were discovered here in 1977 by a farmer excavating an area in his field with a backhoe to put in a pond. A slide show about the discovery is narrated by the farmer himself. What made this find especially interesting is that a spear point (made from another bone) was embedded in this mastadon, indicating the interaction of humans and mastadons at this site about 12,000 years ago.
Another area of the museum features the story of the rowing team from the University of Washington who not only made it to the Olympics in Berlin in 1936, but beat out Hitler’s German team for first place. One of the American rowers was from Sequim. His story is told in The Boys in the Boat, by Daniel James Brown. It’s a fascinating story–and it’s one of those books I plan to re-read. The museum attendant also started a video there for us–footage of the actual race.
We will go back. One day was not enough. I had been at lavender farms in the area before, but would like to visit them again. And next time we’ll also visit the Dungeness River Audubon Center. If the season is right, we’ll stop at a u-pick berry field.
We’re already a mix of skin colors. Let’s mix up the reds and blues, too, for some shades in the color of those fragrant purple/lavender flowers. We may need to learn to listen first.
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