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Once upon a time, fall was when everything happened. Zack and I delighted in returning to school, the glorious autumn foliage, Halloween and Thanksgiving. But years passed, and after college I worked in a series of generic offices. Day in and out, everything was the same. From windows on the fortieth floor, the world looked unreal. I felt disconnected, without a calling.
I missed my twin brother, too. Zack had moved to Seattle to design software. “I love my job, and the outdoor activities here — kayaking, biking, fishing, hiking. Come visit,” he repeatedly urged.
A temp assignment ended, and I flew to Seattle for a long October weekend.
Naturally, I took my knitting — I can’t imagine going anywhere without it. It was a cabled vest of the most luminous yarn, Heartland Thick & Quick®, in a shade called “Katmai,” the color of pearls. “It’s really great,” Zack said, inspecting the cushy fabric. “Why a vest, Zoë?”
“I want a transitional piece,” I said. “Something for between seasons, an extra layer to pop on when I’m chilly. Something to hug me when I’m feeling down.” And I burst into tears, just like that. Apparently I was sadder than I knew.
Next thing, Zack was hugging me. He said, “Zoë, what’s keeping you in Boston? You can temp anywhere. Seattle’s great, and I’m here.”
That was six years ago. I lived in Seattle for four years, temping and going to grad school. With my new degree in Forestry, I moved to Alaska for a career in natural resources management. I wear my Deep-V Cabled Vest year round — even in the summer you need extra layers. Warm and snuggly, it’s more than clothing to me — it’s like an omen that showed me my path. Because, as I later learned, its colorway honors Katmai National Park and Preserve, four million acres of pristine, awesomely beautiful Alaskan terrain.
All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
A story by Selma Moss-Ward.