Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Seattle to Orcas Island

San Juan Island

I am on the ferry that will take me to Orcas Island, part of the San Juan islands off the coast of Washington - my next stop.  It is much colder than I am used to now after having been in Hawaii for 6 months. I am sitting with my hot coffee mesmerized by the water.  I look out at the islands - there is something magical and healing for me in this environment.  I am an islander at heart.

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Monhegan Island
Many years ago, I island-hopped up the coast of Maine, and fell in love with Monhegan Island.  I stayed at this wonderful B&B that had limited electricity.  The rooms were lit by oil lamps and I fell into the rhythm of the day and night, without the use of clocks.  I met a very special friend while there who remains with me in spirit, always.  I am so grateful for you Jericho, and, after all these years, I realize you have always been a part of my life.

Orcas of Orcas Island
I am transported back to that experience since the feel of the air and the scenery of the landscape is similar.  There are Pine trees and a freshness in the air that matches Maine.  The water is that perfect deep shade of blue gray that is typical for this time of year, so far north.  I breathe.  It is such a different experience than the Hawaiian Islands.  And, I am appreciative of the disparity.  I look for the whales, the orcas, but I know that they are not there.  I had seen whales in Hawai’i – they have migrated for the winter.  

Orcas Island
I am excited for this transition, to meet the owner of the B&B, Donna, who will pick me up at the dock.  She asked me how she would recognize me, this being before I had a digital camera and laptop where I could send her a photo.  I wasn’t worried…we would find each other.  As she sees me get off the ferry, she realizes that I am the only one with a tan who looks as though I came from Hawai’i.  No worries, indeed.  She has brought me a coat…thankfully.

Orcas Island
(from Trip Advisor)

Donna, a wonderful and generous woman who is running the B&B with her husband, takes me to my room, small but homey, with a fireplace and heated floors.  I can see the water from my room and I let this gift of being here wash over me.  I breathe it in.

After getting settled in, I take a walk with the intention to  find the local thrift shop so that I can get clothes for this adventure.  I don't need many - I won't be here long, and I am trying to maintain my traveling lightly mode.  I don’t have access to a car, but the walking is therapeutic.  

I spend many of my days at rest, after a daily walk to the town or around the island.  It is cool and brisk, but I love that I can walk without the sweat and humidity.  The weather is mild during winter, so the adjustment really is minor.  The water calls me even though it is winter.  I take off my sneakers and socks and wade in the ocean.  Cold!  Wonderfully so...healing.  I like being able to say that I actually got in, (albeit only to my ankles), no matter where I am.  The shore is quite rocky, with limited sandy areas, but it is perfect for this visit. 

A full moon rises over the water while I am there, and Donna lights a fire in the fire pit near the coast.  It is cold, but I send out my gratitude and open myself up to reap what I desire.  I am learning to trust that the Universe is providing for me, not only what I need but what I desire as well.  I was given these two weeks of rest with ease.  The money that I had earned at Kalani easily paid for these two weeks including my travel expenses.  Money flows in, and out.  In and out...

I didn’t meet many people, although everyone with whom I chatted with was nice.  This really was a time of respite.  I am reminded that this is a solo journey for I am still burnt out and I have nothing left to give, except to myself.  I deal with those ingrained feelings, those that say this is selfish.  I have heard this throughout my life.  However, I am coming to know - in my being (not just intellectually) that this is not so.  Taking care of yourself and putting yourself first is only an act of love, for everyone.   We can certainly be thoughtful, compassionate and caring, but not at our own expense.  I feel like the balance has been tipped way too long.  I settle into the rhythm of this island that is different yet similar...I take care of myself and let others give to me.  I am grateful for Donna, who recognizes that I am in need of nurturing.

As my time starts to draw near, I begin thinking of my next stop which is Vancouver, BC, where I will meet up with Randy, from Hawai’i, to do a Vipassana – a ten day silent retreat.  I am anxious and excited, and I think the gift of this will definitely be a reconnection with my self, my spirit, and to make a shift from being burnt out.  I am hoping this is so.  

San Juan Ferry
The two weeks go by quickly and I find myself back on the ferry heading to Seattle, where I will meet Randy to take the bus up to Vancouver.   I am grateful to be heading towards a friend, it makes the next step for me not so scary.  However, I am learning to walk through the fears that arise at each transition.  Change has always been difficult for me – a challenge.  I am seeking to be in a place where I don’t have to go through this process while making a change - where I will be confident and secure with each decision and transition.  It is a process and I am heading there.  

I am on the ferry with a sense of excitement bubbling within me.  I am heading in the right direction for me.  I breathe in gratitude. 

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