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It’s what’s outside that counts: Your love notes to Seattle’s natural beauty

Seattle turns 165 years old on Wednesday. To mark the milestone, we asked you to help us honor it by reflecting on a pretty personal question: “What keeps you here?” A lot of you shared your stories (thank you!) and we’re sharing out your answers over the next several days…

When we asked you what keeps you in Seattle, lots of you mentioned our good friend Mother Nature:

  • “I’m as native as that Douglas fir in your backyard” — Larry Sarchin
  • “The water has a hold on me and won’t let go” — Cathy Williams
  • “The natural beauty blows me away every day” — Shelley B.

And no wonder: We’ve got mountain ranges to the west (the Olympics) and east (the Cascades). The nation’s largest and arguably most dazzling ferry system takes us to all kinds of breathtaking islands (the San Juans). We figure out what kind of day it’s gonna be by asking “Is the mountain out?” And one of our favorite sights on an east-west commute is the bald eagles that chill out by the 520 bridge.

To readers Julie Wessel and Charles Morrison, it’s what’s outside that counts:

🐬  “I moved here from Portland 20 years ago, and the moment I knew I wanted to live here was when I was on a ferry, in awe of the snowy peaks in every direction, and I looked out and saw a pod of porpoises swimming alongside of us. Recently, I was on the Edmonds/Kingston ferry, and we stopped in the middle of the sound for a pod of orcas. Ferry rides are a chance to step out of the high rents and traffic, and are an opportunity for me to reflect on the beauty of our region.”
— Julie Wessel

🌞  “My home is five minutes from the bluff at Richmond Beach overlooking Puget Sound, about as spectacular a view as exists anywhere. I go there all times of day and night and am always inspired. I’m basically a ‘cool weather’ kind of guy, so weather in the 40s and 50s is great by me. I love warm, soft scarfs and heavy sport jackets. In the summer I sit outside about sunset time and play my recorder or read poetry aloud — the evening light is magical, gives everything a magical aurora. I raised my children here. Today I had lunch at Las Margaritas at 45th and Aurora where my family has eaten for 25 years… The Japanese Garden near the Arboretum is one of the most peaceful places I’ve been on this earth; its beauty has fed my soul for forty years. There’s more… I have LIVED in so many ways in Seattle. It is in my blood. The environment in Seattle loves back.”
— Charles Morrison

Thanks to everyone who’s been sharing what keeps you in Seattle over the past week. 

By Mónica Guzmán
Mónica is the cofounder and editor of The Evergrey. She's been a Seattle journalist for a decade and adores this city.