Friends, July 17, 2016
Two months of high ANXIETY in our lives finally melted as we opened the door to a lovely little house in Birch Bay, Washington. Our address says Blaine as that’s the nearest town, about ten miles away. We totally lucked out and rented a house that is a five minute walk from Peter, Leslie’s son.
The little neighborhood we all live in sits on a hilltop overlooking Birch Bay – we can walk to the beach. The bay is ringed by forested hills. The water is blue. And in the distance we see islands and a piece of Canada. When the tide goes out a huge stretch of beach, five hundred yards wide, is left high and dry giving the kids a big sandbox to dig in and the clam diggers lots of room to secure the evening’s supper.
Driving to the grocery store takes about 20 minutes and is a total delight to drive. We pass through an arm of the forest first. Giant pines, cedars, birch and maple trees lock arms into a dense, dark forest here – where the wild things live. The 100 foot pine trees are magnificent and stand at attention but soon give way to farm land. Right now it’s “Raspberry Fields Forever”. Turns out 60% of the raspberries consumed in America come from this county, Whatcom – named after the Whatcom Indians. The raspberries are grown in rows just like grapes. Harvesting has just started and the way they pick the berries is amazing. Some local guy here invented “the Tickler”. It’s a machine about ten feet long that straddles a raspberry plant and has 25 little bars of metal on each side of the tickler which vibrate and tickle the plant into giving up the berries. Boxes are waiting underneath the machine to catch the fruit. The cherry and strawberry harvests are just finishing up now and blueberries and blackberries will be next.
We cross the Nooksack River next– again named for an Indian tribe – and spot a huge herd of dairy cattle luxuriating in the green grass of river bottom land. A little further down the road and a horse ranch appears. A field planted with potatoes is next. And at this moment we look to the left and there stands Mt. Baker, snow covered at nearly 11,000 feet. This is the most beautiful place I have ever been. Leslie thinks the same. The towering pines and lush landscape push the color green to top shelf. I can’t even play my radio in the car when I drive though the forest; it’s too frivolous somehow. I’m more interested in listening to the forest.
A sweet little state park is five minutes from our house and that’s my new meditation spot. Leslie has flowers planted and blooming in the front flower box, her meditation, and she’s got tomato plants growing on the side of the house that gets the most sun. Her Cancer ability to make a house a home shines out as we settle in. Notable: we have a gas stove and this is the first time either one of us has had one. We’ve always hated electric stoves. This house also has a neat gas fireplace that gives the room a cherry glow. We will be ready for Winter when it comes.
A small thing, but important to me, is that I worked with an Indian medicine woman many years ago who gave me my Indian name: Two Crows. First thing I did as I walked into the new house was check out the little back yard and there were two crows hopping around in the grass but looking right at me and talking – I know they were asking me where I’ve been. I never saw a crow on the south Texas coast, and didn’t realize that until I moved here.
Bottom line: we are blown out at how beautiful it is here and realize we have made a very good move just in terms of lifestyle. Having Peter come by and sample my vegetable soup trumps everything. He and Leslie are off to the Raspberry Festival this afternoon. I need more forest time – there is a healing there I need. My office is open now.