Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Back to McMickin Island

1 August  thru 5 August 2012

McMickin Island is my favorite island in the South Sound. It just keeps calling me back and only 6nm from my marina, it makes it a quick getaway for a lunch stop, an over nighter or a week long vacation. I still have plenty of nooks and beaches to explore, so I haven't seen it all and every time I come for a visit it it is different.

Since it connects to Harstene Island via the unique tombolo, at low tide there is a very protected bowl that can hold lots of boats. It is my," Martin Slough" of the Columbia River. Many of the beaches on this side of Harstene are DNR property and worthy to explore. Some are sandy, some barnacle encrusted, some are oyster and clam beds. There are some small springs along Harstene and today I followed a small trickle up the beach and found a delightful cold water creek babbling from under a huge log. I had to retreat and get Pashmina before the tide swept her out.

I collected a Moon Snail Shell and another delightful clam. Anne Morrow Lindberg wrote  her book, " Gift From The Sea", in 1957 and commented on the Moon Snail Shell. She says,"Comfortable and compact, it sits curled up like a cat in the hallow of my hand. Milky and opaque, it has the pinkish bloom of the sky on a summer evening. On its smooth symmetrical face is penciled with precision a perfect spiral, winding inward to the pinpoint center of the shell, the tiny dark core of the apex, the pupil of the eye- and I stare back".
Photo by Patty Pirnack-Hamilton of Hira's Hand and Moon Snail

My friend Rachel, who recently died gave me her copy of Gift From the Sea to bring to Shatoosh, so it is fitting that I would find a moon snail shell. Last weekend I attended a beautiful celebration of her life. She loved nature and as I reread her copy of the book, I see marked entries that touched her heart, as well as, mine.

Anne, goes on to speak about Moon Snails and islands and how they force us to be in the present moment. They force us to seek solitude and to find a friend in being alone. When people see me single-handling, I am often asked by both men and women, "don't you get lonely or afraid"? I say never, how could I ever be lonely when God's creative forces are within me and all about me".  Anne Lindberg is right, islands force you into solitude. But solitude has nothing to do with loneliness. Solitude has everything to do with being and living in the moment. How often when walking at the beach, do you look at every step, look at ever stone, every shell? In order to be in the moment we have to slow down, way down. While in one's busy lifestyles, we never take notice of our steps or what might be in front of, or even under, our foot. Just as the spiraling eye of moon snail seeks focus to hunt or to make it's elaborate egg encased sea collar,
Moon Snail Egg Casing
Photo- Google Images
we need solitude to spiral down and become pin pointed for our own focus and stillness so that we may birth our creativity and  regenerate our own source of energy. She offered in her book, a revolutionary idea for that time period, but appropriate for today. Everyone, especially women should take time to be alone; sometime in the year, month, week and each day. She thought it would be impossible to attain. Even today, people "feel guilty" or are criticized  if they take time to be alone or seek solitude.

Hira says,"Give me an island, cover it in solitude and I am happy as a clam."