oh oh OHHHHHH!!! guess whaaaaat!??? four swims over the course of one week!!! boo yeah! i went three for three this weekend (first swim of the season was last week in port! may 6th! that’s pretty rockin). home to the wee island for the first time in three weeks and oh bliss. i was sitting in the truck, waiting at the top of the ramp for my turn on the dock, the sun a few hours from setting – casting the golden glow, and i was grinning. a woman whose face i have seen plenty over the years, but whose name i don’t actually know, was walking up the ramp towards me (sometimes it can be like this – it is a small community, but there are many circles within it, and hers and mine don’t overlap). she was looking at me and smiling as she came up, but for some reason i expected her to say something like i was parked in front of her truck, and would i mind moving. but nope, she asked “why are you smiling so big?” and i laughed. “because i am so happy to be home”, i said. and as everyone drove up past me off the dock, they were smiling just as big too. i swear.
from my journal, upon returning home: like every time i come home, i am just so completely overwhelmed by joy and beauty. the ferry ride! the community. the light on the water. peter. joseph. people whose names i don’t know, yet still know they are my family. tolling. laura. shawn, sho and john tonight à la plage. michèle. earlier – charlotte. and helping sean bring parcels up the ramp…. i can’t encompass just how good it feels to be home. or not encompass, but express. i never have words enough for the gratitude i feel to be here. other than saying repeatedly over and over and over the exact same words that say i am ever so grateful for all that i have here. t h a n k y o u t h a n k y o u t h a n k y o u t h a n k y o u.
by the end of the weekend, i decided to start a new tradition – as soon as i get home, go to the beach. if i can swing it, stop at the beach on the way back to the ferry too. i headed down there friday off the ferry, sho and i had dinner and canoe plans, then shawn rolled into the mix, then john. instead of canoeing we just ended up swimming and laying on the warm rocks. the water was a little rolly, and my canoe cravings tend to only take over when the water is calm, and i was having too much fun on the beach anyway. the mudslide that happened over the winter pushed several alders over, and shawn pointed out that one was perfect for climbing, so off i went. it surprised me that i didn’t notice this before. it WAS perfect. it leaned out towards the water, and when the tide’s in i’m pretty sure it will be OVER the water. you can walk out to the end of it and bounce it around and dangle off of it. SO fun. AND, it’s still alive! even though it was pushed down the bank and is sideways! i hope it stays alive for some time. sho made a quinoa salad for dinner with huge fresh garden greens, i brought banana loaf, smoked tofu and a cuke from town, and john brought a lemon. somehow, this is the first lemon of johns that i have eaten. this is not just a lemon, people. it is a meyer lemon. my mind was blown. he grows this lemon tree in his greenhouse. i have known john for years, i have seen this tree many times, how have i not tasted these lemons? because, i learned later, he is careful with these lemons, he doesn’t just whip them out any old time. they are special. i squeezed a bit on my tofu. it tasted like lemon. i made it through dinner and still had a bit left, so i tore it off the peel and took a bite….whaaat?! it was sweet, no acidic mouth-puckery-ness to it. mmmm, i said. that was that though, until sho said, “have you tried the peel? if you don’t want it, i’ll eat it.” again – whaaat?! so i took a bite and then passed the rest to her. as soon as i bit down, the clearest image of a delicate waxy sumptuous orange blossom popped into my head. it was like i was eating a flower, a sweet confection of nature. mmmm, ohhhhhhh. “do you want the rest back?” sho asked, holding it out to me. YES, i said.
we sat there as the sun dipped lower and lower and painted the sky and water taupe and bronze and ochre and lavender and gold and mulberry and plum. and as shoshanah said, “all i wanted to do was look at gorgeous”.
saturday i spent filtering more drinking water while the pond is still a pond, attending to chores, and then finally getting to bucking up some of the the trees i fell about a month ago now. as i was doing so, i found a gorgeous licheny robins nest nestled in an old stump under one of the fallen trees. complete with two vibrant blue eggs! that put an end to bucking up that log, as i worried i had scared the mama away for good, but i went back the next day to check from afar and saw her sitting. phew. so hopefully i’ll have some baby bird photos for you later this spring! then that evening i went back to pick up sho and we hauled a load of soil from ernie’s to her garden, then went back for one for me. he has the richest dirt, dug out from a pond they put in awhile ago, i even found a sand-filled clam shell in it. i love it when it is so obvious that this all used to be ocean. after that we again brought dinner down to the beach, and had another swim to wash off the days work. i also collected two bucket-fulls of seaweed, and LOVED that i was gardening even while i was at the beach playing. earlier in the day i had signed up to play at the coffeehouse that evening, so our time on the beach was short. none of us really wanted to leave, but for my part it was because i was nervous to play, so it was good i had signed up, or i for sure wouldn’t have gone. it was a small crowd that night, which was perfect for me. oh, i just realized i haven’t mentioned that i played in public for the first time ever last weekend at a coffeehouse on the big island. i was nervous then too, and made mistakes, but it was such a great experience. i am still a novice, both in guitar-playing and singing, but i love new life experiences, especially ones that are a good kind of challenging. and because of connection, because of this (the part in the box):
because sometimes things are just way more interesting if they are imperfect, if they are fumbling and true. maybe it can be more of a shared experience that way? i am not sure. we got there just in time, there were still two people to play before me (phew, again), so i had time to tune. there were probably only about 30 people left at the hall by then, which was just my size. it was SO much easier the second time around! wow! i still made mistakes, my voice still didn’t reach its stride til the second song, but oh what fun! the sharing, i love the sharing. and another fun thing came of it, i am going to try playing with john! yay!!! reflecting back on it later, i realized this is a long-term dream come true. back when i last lived here, i remember going to bread and jam’s when they were still back at the teapot, and thinking, oh, it would be amazing to play up there. i had just started singing with a fledgling band, and i was so excited, but we eventually lost our steam and then i moved away. i am glad to remember this now, years later.
sunday i woke to more delightful sunshine, but oh lord i was tired and sore. i set aside further plans of chainsawing, which would have had to happen anyway, because by the time i got regular-living-chores done, there wasn’t time for much else. i put the kale plants i got three weeks ago from dana, into the ground. i unloaded the rest of the soil from the truck bed. i did half of it when i got home late saturday night because i was worried about all the weight in the bed for too long, and turns out i had reason to worry. i checked out the leaf springs today and the passenger rears are inverted! ahhh!!! anyone know how to un-invert them? are they just toast now? it still feels fine when driving, so it isn’t a major concern, and i checked out some online toyota forums tonight which gave me a little peace of mind – sounds like some people have driven their trucks like this for years (!!!) – but i think it’s still probably better to un-invert them, if possible. then after spreading the buckets of seaweed over various parts of the garden, i closed up shop and headed to the beach again. i couldn’t get ahold of anyone this time, and sho was working, so it was a solo mission. a nice quick dip and lunch before heading back to the little city. what a good end to the delightfullest of days. i l o v e being home.
*the title of this post is brought to you this time by shawn, a direct quote as we sat there immersed in the glow of the setting sun. and i had to amalgamate a bunch again photographically for this post, spring is so busy i can’t write about it all. a mesh of two weekends for you.