It's early July, and the madrona are shedding some of their leaves, as they do at this time of year. By early July, the ground beneath them can be covered in fallen golden madrona leaves.
It was just this season when Bob and I last sailed the Salish Sea in the Gulf Islands of Canada together. Blakely Harbor, on the south east side of Bainbridge Island was our first anchorage on this trip. The first time we anchored here, a 30' sloop sailed in after us and anchored ahead of us. On board was an older man and his 4 or 5 year old grandson. We watched as the boy dropped something in the water and it floated by us.
We fished it out of course. It was a green wine bottle, and inside was a note which said:
Who ever finds this, I love you.
How could we not have a wonderful trip with that!
Several days later on this, our last trip together, we anchored in Pirate's Cove, on De'Courcy Island in Canada. We had sailed by it before and not found our way in; this time someone had clued us on the landmarks and bouys to watch for.
It had been a perfect day of sailing up from Montague Harbor on Galiano Island, under warm blue skies with exactly the right amount of wind. We rowed ashore and walked in a magical madrona forest. The path we walked on was carpeted with golden madrona leaves,and Ravens were singing in the trees.
That day was so perfect, so filled with magic, love, beauty, and adventure, I will never forget it.
The next year when the madrona shed their leaves, Bob shed his body. We scattered his ashes on the Salish Sea, out by the red nun bouy near the harbor entrance. Bob is gone, but his love is still with me, and the magic of that day, when we walked the golden pathway on De Courcy Island, has stayed with me.
Inspired by the places where land meets water, and by stories.