Outdoors

Island Inspiration

Savoring the sounds of silence

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

The relentless struggle to keep pace with early 21st century America had depleted my spirits and knocked my usually stalwart inner-navigation system so far off course I was recently forced to spend three days of semi-solitude in a one-room cabin just to right my ship and get sailing again. 

Although I was able to stay connected to the outside world through a serviceable telephone line, the only other pieces of technologically advanced equipment in the rustic seaside abode were a wood stove, turntable and bamboo bookcase stuffed full of eclectic reading material. 

Except for reading, writing and listening to some premium vinyl cuts my primary source of audio-visual entertainment came from observing and absorbing whatever illuminative phenomena the natural world had to throw at me.  

The spacious front porch offered a premium vantage point to while away the hours watching hazy sunbeams poke through multiple layers of clouds and scatter like burning embers upon the heaving swells of Rosario Strait. 

During the course of one vigorously blustery, partly sunny day I was thrilled to note that the snow-glazed face of Orcas Island’s Mt. Constitution managed to change color no less than five times, going from gray to blue to green to purple to black as time marched on and meteorological conditions evolved. 

Inevitably, the absence of detectable human activity on this far-flung stretch of shoreline generated a level of tangible quietude that helped clear my mind, calm my nerves and intensify my ability to hear even the most unobtrusively mundane audible effects with clarity so acute even my own thoughts became amplified.

When an unseen raven chased me out of bed way too effing early one morning with its incessant cawing and clucking, I glared up into the tree canopy and shouted, “Thank you!”

When a pair of bald eagles initiated their raucous aerial courtship high in the treetops above me, I grabbed the biggest pair of binoculars available and made a concerted effort to ogle as many explicit maneuvers as those two lovebirds hazarded to deliver.  

When a gang of screaming seagulls started rioting over a coveted crab carcass down on the beach, I reclined on the piazza and spectated every push and pull of this contentious anarchic eruption. 

When a lone Spotted Towhee materialized in dense underbrush, I had to chase an overstimulated house cat away so I could continue to behold its rufous, white-bellied form darting at seemingly impossible angles through seemingly impenetrable ocean spray branches without fear of the poor thing being eviscerated.

When this low-tech getaway finally drew to a close, I boarded a ferry and headed back to the mainland with my vitality and compassion for all living creatures fully restored.

More Outdoors...
Pilgrim Power
Where the sidewalk ends

To hear Beth Jusino tell it, if she can walk 1,000 miles, almost anybody can.

In fact, when she comes to Village Books on Wed., Oct. 17 to share tales from her travel tome, Walking to the End of the World: A Thousand Miles of the Camino de Santiago, those in attendance can find out more…

more »
Threshold
In search of autumn

I found myself looking October in the face with a profound sense that summer had been largely stolen from me.

Obligations and deadlines had kept my nose in close proximity to the grindstone for most of July. When I finally had some free time to disappear in the mountains in August, the…

more »
Paint B'ham Blue
Vikings for a day

The changing colors of leaves from forest-green to bright red or yellow is typically a harbinger that one season has come to a close and another has begun.

While that’s still true, another prominent hue seen in downtown Bellingham this past week is heralding a different kind of autumnal…

more »
Events
Today
Bellingham at Home Informational Meeting

1:00pm|Bellingham Senior Activity Center

Endangered Species Curator's Tour

1:30pm|Whatcom Museum's Lightcatcher Building

Sedro-Woolley Farmers Market

3:00pm|Hammer Heritage Square

Prosecutors race is a referendum on reform

6:00pm

Creekside Open Mic

6:30pm|South Whatcom Library

Where the sidewalk ends

7:00pm

Walking to the End of the World

7:00pm|Village Books

Brian Dean Trio

7:00pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Climate Change and Forests

7:00pm|Sustainable Living Center

Modified documentary and Panel Discussion

7:30pm|Pickford Film Center

Siro
Tomorrow
Parkinson's Dance Class

10:00am|Ballet Bellingham

Fall Craft & Antique Show

10:00am|Northwest Washington Fairgrounds

Komo Kulshan Ski Swap

4:00pm|Bloedel Donovan

Jazz Jam

5:30pm|Illuminati Brewing

Camber Exhcange

5:30pm|1820 Scout Place

Falling Out of the Box Jewelry Challenge

6:00pm|Jansen Art Center

Squash Celebration

6:30pm|Community Food Co-op

Chuckanut Radio Hour

6:30pm|Whatcom Community College

Balkan Folk Dancers

7:00pm|Fairhaven Library

Nooksack River Travelogue

7:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

7:30pm|Upfront Theatre

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

7:30pm|Anacortes Community Theatre

The Duck Variations

7:30pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

The Skriker

7:30pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Side Show

7:30pm|Lincoln Theatre

Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1 Siro
Friday
Fall Craft & Antique Show

10:00am|Northwest Washington Fairgrounds

Komo Kulshan Ski Swap

4:00pm|Bloedel Donovan

The Duck Variations

7:30pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

7:30pm|Anacortes Community Theatre

The Skriker

7:30pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Side Show

7:30pm|Lincoln Theatre

Wild Things

9:30am|Stimpson Family Nature Reserve

Cider Days

11:00am|Camber

Fall Family Weekend

12:00pm|Western Washington University

Books and Bites

1:00pm|Blaine Library

Food Not Bombs

4:00pm|Downtown Bellingham

Spaghetti Feed

5:00pm|Ferndale Senior Center

Bread and Puppet Theater

5:00pm|Laurel Park

Paper mache and politics

5:00pm

Family Story Night

6:00pm|Fairhaven Library

Gore and Lore Tours

6:00pm|Downtown Bellingham, historic Fairhaven

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

7:00pm|Blaine High School

Friday Night Flicks

7:00pm|Van Zandt Community Hall

Pride and Prejudice

7:00pm|Lynden Christian High School

A Night with Miguel de Hoyos

7:00pm|Kennelly Keys

Laura Read and Friends

7:00pm|Village Books

Daily Dying

7:00pm|Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship

Locarno

7:30pm|McIntyre Hall

Hellingham

7:30pm|Upfront Theatre

Teton Gravity Research

7:30pm|Mount Baker Theatre

see our complete calendar »

Siro Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1 Village Books Trove Web