It’s July 2021 and I am finally launching my new blog as a companion to Body Results, Inc. It’s been seven years in the making. I don’t know what the year holds for me, but I am willing to roll with it, accept and encourage change, and learn about the wonderfully complex world of writing, managing, and keeping a weekly blog.

To kick off the year, and provide a snapshot of where we’re starting this journey, I share a poem about sounds in Seattle during the pandemic. I call it, simply,

Seattle Sounds

The Snowy Plover symbolizes the power of the tiniest voice to cause ripples of change for many. May my blog create ripples.
The Snowy Plover symbolizes the power of the tiniest voice to cause ripples of change for many. May my blog create ripples.

Pandemic Absences…

Schoolkids laughing

three blocks away

(they’re all inside for

remote learning)

Glassdoor sliding

as my partner leaves for work

(he’s working from home


Intermittent reminders

from my watch alarm

(with no place to go,

no need to set it)

Neighbor dogs barking

at curious passers-by

(as air quality fails,

none venture outside)

Roofers nail-gunning;

arborists trimming trees

(all outside work stops

while our forests burn)

Is this the new normal?

A Poem to Launch a New Blog: Seattle Sounds
Our backyard wildlife habitat, summer 2020

Constant companions…

A cacophony of crows

cah cah cah

(More peanuts, please)

Anna’s hummingbirds crackling

chzee chzee chzee

(Drink from the spray)

Red-breasted nuthatches honking

mep mep mep

(Seeds, follow me)

Black-capped chickadees chanting

dee dee dee

(Cold bathing water)

Northern flickers calling

fwicka fwicka fwicka

(I found fresh suet)

The backyard fountain

burbles and gurgles

calming my many anxieties.

Who – or what — defines normal?

One of our favorite birds, the pileated woodpecker.
One of our favorite birds, the pileated woodpecker.

A year later…

Exit a global pandemic

enter wildfire season

Reopen the world

resume the chaos

reimagine zoos and schools

revisit trails and people

return to parks and places

restart habits and hobbies

Mother Earth heals.

She also requires healing–

our help, vigilance, protection.

What have we learned?

Listen, look, notice

pay attention

to our constant companions

before it’s too late.

New blog, a new path, new me.

Onward, upward, forward... with Ajax and Wonder. New year, new blog, new adventure.
Onward, upward, forward… with Ajax and Wonder.

Published by Courtenay Schurman

Co-author of The Outdoor Athlete (2009) and Train to Climb Mt. Rainier or Any High Peak DVD (2002), author of Mountaineering: Freedom of the Hills/conditioning chapter 4 (3 editions), and Peak Performance column for the Mountaineers Mag (2014-present). Member of PNWA, SCBWI, EPIC. Served on the steering committee for WOTS (2019-present). Completed UW Certificate program for Children's Literature and Memoir. Co-owner of Body Results, Inc. in Seattle. Climb leader with Seattle Mountaineers for over 15 years. Volunteer at Woodland Park Zoo since 2014.

7 replies on “A Poem to Launch a New Blog: Seattle Sounds”

    1. It is not; it was actually one I found on a neighborhood walk with my dog Ajax and shot for my Capture Your 365 project for the prompt, “negative space.” I don’t know who the original artist was. Thanks for the question!

  1. Congratulations and best wishes on making new connections — with yourself and others.

  2. You did it! Congratulations on a 7-year journey into blogging. Can’t wait to read more!

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