Kelley and I have just got back from a few days on Orcas Island with a friend. Above was the view from the house we rented: late afternoon when we first arrived, and late morning on one of the many perfect days following. The others wrote a lot; I just stared at the water, read, and thought. Sometimes the three of us would go to Moran State Park (home of Mountain Lake: nurse logs and fishing herons), or to Darvill’s, the lovely little bookshop and café in East Sound. Kelley and I made our own expedition to Olga. (If ever you’re at Catkin Café, I can recommend both the skirt steak with salad—both steak and salad leaves were pretty much the Platonic ideal of their kind—and the potato and leek soup. The walnut and carrot bread is also pretty damn good; and, now that I think about it, the English Breakfast tea—piping hot water and proper tea leaf!)
I took binoculars and watched seals and heron and deer. (Black-tail deer were everywhere; too many, really. The island needs a couple of lynx or some other top predator.) But mainly I just zoned out and ate a lot. Actually we all ate a lot: we all love food, and cooking, and wine. We stayed up late by the fire, talking of writing, love, and life.
But mainly I did nothing. It’s the first time I’ve done nothing for a quite a while. I needed it. I don’t think I’d realised just how depleted I am after beginning and completing a PhD, and writing and editing a new and unexpected book, in a single year. But this trip helped me understand just how thorough the depletion is. So I’m going to be careful with my resources for the next few months. Expect me to start saying no to a lot of things…
4 thoughts on “Back from a break”
Orcas Island! I was just remarking to someone re the complex Puget Sound Land-Sea mix. Back to Google maps….
Wow. Almost to Canada! Never made it there. Heck, I never made it up to Vancouver…. You may recall, I was stationed at PSNSY (Bremerton Navy yards) back in the Vietnam era, and mostly, when I had time off, I was ready for (a) bright lights = Seattle or (b) some place I could drive to without taking the ferry. And, since most of my time there was in Winter, that meant rain shadow = Sequim. For a pretty damp value of “rain shadow”, to this SW-er….
Sounds like you two had fun, and recreated and stuff. Good food too, I hope? I still remember the Ginormous alder-smoked oysters @ the ferry docks in Seattle….
Even those pictures relaxed me a little bit. One of these days…
Sounds like a wonderful vacation! (I had one of my own recently, although it was quite different. :)) I’m glad you got a chance to rejuvenate, breathe, take in your setting, and simply enjoy existing in a beautiful here and now. May you take some of that energy and channel the strength you got from it into your future endeavors!
@Brooks: I think you’d love it.
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