In 2010 my family purchased 1.15 acres of land on the Sammamish Plateau. We walked the property on January 11th, the day we closed. Winter was mild that year, but that day happened to be brisk and sunny. We walked past the first two layers of forest and into a wide clearing that sloped gently eastward toward the neighboring wetland. The silvery winter sun shone low to the south, sending narrow shafts of light through the Douglas fir and the skeletal bigleaf maple.
My daughter climbed the great rotting stump in the center of the clearing. We hugged, we laughed. We took pictures, and smelled the clean, vegetal, damp air. Our new home is going to be right there, we said.
I loved the land. I loved the area. We were taking a risk, gambling on ourselves and the feeling I got when I first shook hands with the builder. We knew about the wetland, we knew there were restrictions on the property. I knew I’d have to become a commuter.
There were just so many more upsides relative to any misgivings we might have.
Have you ever been walking in the dark and put your foot out and didn’t feel anything underneath? Could be a step, could be a puddle; maybe it’s a cliff. You step anyway, and you get the thrill of having your foot land…where? That was how I felt, and I loved that too. But mostly, I loved the school district that was attached to the property. Watching my daughter play in the woodland duff, all I could think was, “I’d do anything for that kid.” So I did. We broke ground on our home the next week.