So, Coco and I spent some time this morning walking a few miles on the campus of Western Washington University, whose Fairhaven College is Coco's undergrad alma mater. It was a warm sunny morning and most of the campus seemed to be sleeping still (or watching the Seahawks game), so we had quite a pleasant and uninterrupted meander along winding paths, through underbridges, and up and down staircases both narrow and wide. The campus has an awful lot of big metal sculptures, which made the walk even more picturesque.
We ventured into one building so Coco could show me the auditorium class where she took her infamous Performance Art class, but mostly we explored the grounds, Coco surprised by a number of that-didn't-used-to-be-theres and mellowed by many oh-I-remember-thats. I saw where her drum circle gathered, found her dorm window with its middling-good view, saw the buildings where she had classes large and small, and the entrance to the dining hall where student got their soft-serve ice milk. But maybe best if all was when she shared her secret study space along an out-of-the-way walkway on the edge of campus, not too far from the Viking Union. As she sat down lost in reverie for a moment, I saw that sweet shy student still inside her, despite all she had done and become since then, the Quiet Girl who prefers her own company.
I think it's been nice to come back to Bellingham for Coco; it's a return, not a retreat. This town has lot going for it, some of which Coco is showing me and some of which we are discovering together. After the campus nostalgia today, we went and joined the local food co-op. We're settling in here, for sure, for what we hope will be a good, long stay.
Coco, with the sculpture The Man Who Used to Hunt Cougars for Bounty