A trip to Mayne Island seemed like a fitting end to our holiday celebrations. We took the 9:30 ferry over yesterday morning and spent the day exploring.
Cloudy skies and the occasional raindrop didn't dampen our spirits as we hiked along Halliday Ridge. Views like this one feed the soul, restoring a sense of balance and equilibrium. I always return home from hiking tired physically and rejuvenated in spirit.
The island in the distance, with the low peninsula jutting into the water, is Saturna Island. In the summer of 2008, Tim and I anchored our boat on the other side of the island, and walked across it to that low tongue of land where a beautiful vineyard nestles against the sun-warmed rocky cliff. It was quite a hike and we were glad to sit and enjoy the scenery from the outside deck. Seeing the island from this new perspective brought back the memories of that late summer's day.
Winding waterways and islands low and high, thickly forested, fill the landscape, this place I now call home. Seven years ago, it was just a place on a map. Now, I cherish the sea scent, the cushion of pine needles on the forest floor, and the fluid skies.
Every place I've lived, and to a lesser extent, the places I've visited, has become a part of me. In the grocery store, I reach for a hand of bananas, notice the Ecuador sticker on them, and am transported back to the place where my children were born and raised. I pick up an avocado and compare it to the ones I picked from our own trees. I remember the smell of lemons as we ran over them with a lawnmower. I long for really hard rains and thunder and lightning to crash around the house.
It rarely snows here in our Island city, but there are days when I long for it - for a thick blanket of white to cover the ground, for the blast of cold as I walk out the door. I think that what I'm longing for, in part, are the winters of my childhood. I want once again to feel the magic of looking up into a flurry-filled sky, to stick out my tongue and catch a snowflake, to stand by a window mesmerized by the transformation of the world outside. Another blogger who has written about the concept of home and longing uses the German word Heimat to express her feelings of aching and belonging, of memory and place. You can read her thoughts on her blog, Friko's Musings.
That was a bit of a rabbit trail. Back to Mayne Island, and our hike is almost over. We found this enormous arbutus tree, damaged, we think, by a lightning strike.
Tim easily fit into the ruptured trunk and his smile is indicative of the way we both felt - happy to be outside, tramping about God's beautiful creation, feeling restored in body and soul. A great way to begin a new year.