So many islands dot this part of the globe. Some are large, some small. Each one has stories to tell. In my last post I mentioned our boating trip to Russell Island. The island was home to Hawaiian immigrants beginning in the 1870s. In 1901 Maria Mahoi inherited the island from her father who had cleared land for strawberries and planted an orchard. Maria and her husband built a house, the corner of which you see above. Just beyond is the water tower.
Maria's island home is part of Canada's national park system. But each summer her descendants return to tell stories from the past. They live in the house and welcome visitors. No strawberries patch remains and much of the cleared land is covered with ferns, salal and tall fir trees.
Wildflowers bloom along the path that circles this small island. The old wells have been capped and fresh water is brought from Saltspring Island. Maria served as midwife for women on Saltspring, paddling 15 minutes across the water. In the days before telephones and radios, I wonder how she was summoned.
An old bicycle leans against a tree, picturesque in the dappled sunlight. If islands could be colour-coded, this one would be green.
Maria raised her children on the island. Now her grandchildren and great grandchildren return to keep the past alive. Did they, too, play in the grassy clearing, pretending to be airplanes to entertain a Little Miss?