There’s something to be said for getting out of town for a few days. Those things that cause you turmoil and ambush your peace of mind are left far behind you. Go worry someone else. No stacks of mail to sort through, no sink that needs scrubbing, no cloud of remember-whens to stifle your ability to live your own happy life. Instead there is salt air and sunshine, the hiss of waves on sand, and sunwarmed pebbles to sweep your hands through, searching for that one perfect treasure to take home.
A sunlit ferry ride carried us to Orcas Island, WA (home of Cat Bordhi!) and miles away from things we didn’t want to worry about. Mom was there, and R. Darling and his kayaking friend. The first day was travel, grocery store food for lunch, a walk on the beach while the guys firmed up details for their 2 day kayaking class with Body Boat Blade, and later, dinner at the Tavern in Eastsound. Apparently it’s quite easy to say you have the “best burgers in town” if you have the only burgers in town. But the food was deservedly amazing. Back at Cabin #4, West Beach Resort, for the night – replete with circa 1938 dark wood paneling, vintage door hardware, creaking floors, arctic bathroom and munchkin sized shower – we caught the last breath of sun as it sank into the ocean. While the sky continued to drip mauve and persimmon, we filled our lungs with one last breath of campfire and salt breeze and turned in for the night.
Saturday dawned cold and cloudy, though it would warm to a pleasant afternoon. R. Darling and I had coffee together before his class and later, when he had gone, Mom and I drove to Beach Haven. In the late 197o’s she and Dad had stayed on the island for a weekend and she couldn’t quite remember where, but thought Beach Haven might have been the place. They had dug clams right on the beach, cleaned them with cornmeal, and eaten their fill in front of a roaring fire. After stuffing themselves, Mom had strung the remaining clams on thread and smoked them over the fire. She tells me staying here with Dad was one of the happiest memories of her life. I wish he could have been there that day as we stood on the beach and looked at the horizon, remembering happier times.
After Beach Haven, it was off to explore some of Eastsound. With the pastry shop closed, we instead made Poppies Fine Yarns our first stop. Though the selection was not as bountiful as what I’ve become used to, I did find the perfect yarn for Mom’s long requested Fake Isle Hat with Earflaps (am going to have to improvise this on my 0wn) and best of all, she okayed the choices herself so there will be no danger of, “It’s too itchy! I don’t like the color!”. This makes me happy. A few galleries, and a long search for the “perfect” espresso (Mom, not me) behind us, we bought a couple sandwiches and headed back to the cabin for the afternoon. I started a pair of Berry Hill fingerless mittens in some Mirasol Hacho I received recently but decided they just seemed too small (I suspect I have manhands) and quit working after separating the thumb stitches.
We went for a walk instead and continued our search for non-existent agates, while heartily resisting the urge to take a nap. R. Darling finished class much sooner than expected and after he cleaned up we all went for pizza and arrived back in time to see a spectacular sunset.
I heard a quote not long ago and it has been turning over in my mind, like a gentle wave worrying a piece of polished glass, smoothing away the sharp edges that draw blood when you are least expecting it:
“The cure for anything is salt water – sweat, tears, or the sea.”
I’ve had the tears, I’ve tried the sea and the only balm that is left is sweat.