Archive | Whidbey Island

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An Ounce of Prevention

I was on my way to pick strawberries, driving down a country road when it happened. About a quarter of a mile ahead, I saw a fawn step onto the blacktop. I slowed down. The fawn saw the car, turned, and began running straight toward us. I stopped, but the truck behind me didn’t—or, anyway, not as soon as I stopped. The […]

No False Spring

Spring snuck up on me. It was beautiful for a week in early February, and then I looked around and the whole world was in bloom. At first, I didn’t trust it. Twenty years on the East Coast taught me not to have confidence in an early spring. There, the weather would warm for a few beautiful days, maybe a week, in […]

Stepping Out

In the first week of the year, I understood that it was time to let go of my part-time job at the library—a fifteen-hour-a-week ballast, working with friends and surrounded by wonderful books and movies. What could be more pleasant! Then I wondered, If given the chance, what else would I fill this time with? And I was being given the chance. […]

Looking at Light

I work part-time at the Whidbey Island library that’s in a double-wide, a cozy space where we have interesting conversations. One day  we convinced a library patron to bring in her art portfolio from her  car. This artist, Angie Dixon, showed us glorious pictures—horses, a friendly orangutan, and one I’ll never forget: a window with rays of light coming through it. Nothing […]

A Visitor

It was a Sunday morning. I’d slept in, meditated, and gone into the kitchen to make chai—when I had the feeling I was being watched. At the sliding screen door stood a large grey tomcat. I walked over and he sat, looking up at me. I sat. I opened the door a crack, put my hand out, and he arched his head […]

Coming Together

You can’t always figure out why two particular people bond. Often they don’t know themselves. Last weekend I went to the wedding of two truly beautiful young people, who married at the bride’s parents’ home in a garden the bride, a professional landscaper, had designed and her mother and father—working hard—put in with their own hands: six-foot stands of sunflowers and double […]

The Naked Lady Parties

    They’re usually called Clothing Swaps, but a friend referred to them as the Naked Lady Parties—and once I’d heard that name, I couldn’t think of them by any other. Of course, nobody actually goes around in the buff, but these get-togethers do involve a number of women, most in their skivvies, and all of them trying on their friends’ cast-off […]

The Blackberries Are Coming On!

It’s time to celebrate blackberries! It was blackberry season when I arrived on Whidbey Island. A friend showed me a culvert cache in her neighborhood where I picked a plump berry half the size of my thumb and popped it into my mouth: juicy and sweet and warm from the sun. Within a few minutes we filled a recycled plastic container with […]

It’s SO Whidbey

Whidbey Island is a softer place than many, a place where people don’t dress up much and might have a real conversation with someone they don’t know if they see that person, say, at a farmer’s market (there are five in the summer) or in one of the local libraries (five all year round). A friend visited me from New York, and […]