In Motion: Bellingham, Poetry, San Juan Islands, Ted Talks

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Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Thick Ring Year


Written: Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Living on an island that is only 55 square miles is starting to work its magic into my mind and heart. If I was a tree this "ring" year would be a thick one, meaning that there was more than enough nourishment, sun, rain and love through out this year to keep me healthy. Not everyday was all sunshine & butterflies! But the storms in life can help keep us strong and alert; and there were many storms in 2008!

For me the material part of my life took the biggest hit ever this year! 2008 hurt my pocket book, my pantry, and closet. I wasn't able to buy the items I wanted, and had to settle with JUST the items we needed. I felt poor and a little pouty but really- a bad year in America is still better than one in many other countries. If my suffering means I cant get a new couch, (needing one because mine has a busted spring), or a new set of towels (because the old ones are getting frayed), it's still not as bad as needing say, food or shelter. So no maintenance purchases, just what is necessary. But real happiness shouldn't come from material items, right?
Washington State winters are gray, cloudy, rainy, and windy. It sounds depressing. However, growing up here I've found a natural high every time I take a walk in the muck and come back to a warm home. Coming through the door is a refreshing reminder that not everything is cold and dark.

Just came back from town. It feels wonderful to walk about and say "hi" to the people I pass, "Thank you very much! Have a good day!" to the store keepers. Does it help that the Christmas lights are up all over and there's that special good feeling in the air this time of the year? It does a little.

A couple of signs that I'm starting to become an islander is how many new sounds I recognize. While walking to the grocery store one day for example, I heard a truck coming up behind me on the road and a single dog "bark!" I knew right away whose dog that was and what truck would drive by me… and I was right. I almost didn't take note of that moment, until I said to myself, "What's next? Someone behind me will sneeze at the drug store and I'll say "Bless you, Nancy."?
Is familiarity needed to feel comfortable? I would argue yes it is. However I don't think you need intimate understanding of the things around you before you're comfortable, but perhaps just faith in the reactions, systems and relationships. If you are going on a journey this holiday season, you'll know that some things never change no matter where you are in the world. That's as comforting as a little rum in the eggnog!

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