The Smell in the Parking Lot

Sometimes, in all the chaos of a busy schedule, you get a brief glance into something greater. I had one of those moments tonight.  Alissa was home sick. I went and picked up the kids and took them grocery shopping.  Then I took them home and we ran up to my mom’s for dinner.  Of course, the pharmacy at the under-new-management grocery store was not yet set up to dispense Sudafed.  This meant we needed to make a second store stop.  After dinner, we pulled into the grocery store parking lot only to find at least 4 police cars, paramedic and a fire truck.  I decided to get gas and go across the street to the drug store.   Of course, I made the turn wrong and could not get across the street, so I decided to punt and go to a drug store in Shoreline.  This is all with very tired kids.  By the time we got to the store in Shoreline, one kid was asleep and the other didn’t feel very good.  So I dropped them off at home and then went back to the drug store in search of Sudafed.

Finally successful, I walked out into the parking lot.  The night, like the day was warm.   A mist was rolling in, not particularly dense, but cool and moist.  And then, in that moment, I smelled it.  The smell of the sea: that pleasantly pungent odor of decay caressed my senses.  It’s easy to forget how close we live to the water.  But in that moment, I received a reminder that, not more than a mile or two to the west lay Puget Sound and it’s connection to the mighty Pacific and the rest of the world.  And standing there, in that drug store parking lot, I felt blessed by a realization that just beyond the boundaries of my perception is  something much bigger and far more powerful and important than the chaos of family life, and what’s more? I’m a part of it.  And so are you. We just need to find those moments to allow ourselves to feel it and connect with it.

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About Andrew

I'm a Christian, American, liberal, geeky, thoughtful, Northwest-transplanted Angeleno husband, father, and pundit who writes about anything he can think of.
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