Okay, I’ve been off running around again – one island to the next. (Not nearly as exotic as it sounds, Roy and I are pretty low key.) Wednesday afternoon I hopped over from my base camp here on Camano Island to Whidbey Island, (with of course a stop off for lunch at the Skagit Valley Food Co-op in Mt. Vernon (4th visit there so far)). Whidbey is the largest of the islands composing Island County, Washington, in the United States. (The other large island is base camp – Camano Island, east of Whidbey.) Whidbey is about 30 miles north of Seattle, and lies between the Olympic Peninsula and the I-5 corridor of western Washington. The island forms the northern boundary of Puget Sound. It is home to Nava; Air Station Whidbey Island. Whidbey Island is approximately 55 miles long (from the extreme north to extreme south, and 1.5 to 12 miles wide, with 168.67 square miles.
I camped Wednesday night at Deception Pass State Park (George Vancouver gave it the name “Deception” because it had misled him …) – with the iconic Deception Pass Bridge. Curving gracefully between Fidalgo and Whidbey Islands, it crowns the most visited stat park in Washington. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982, this bridge is recognized for its engineering and the elegant architecture that complements the scenic and geologic wonder of Deception Pass.
Evening prior, I started in on Diane Ackerman’s “A Natural History of the Senses” (1990) – smell, touch, taste, hearing, vision, and synesthesia. Here now crossing Deception Bridge, dropping down into my forested coastal bay campground, the gypsy-me was deeply, fully living “synesthesia” – “the stimulation of one sense stimulates another, from the Greek syn (together) + aistansethai (to perceive). A thick garment of perception woven together by overlapping thread.” (Ackerman p. 289). She offers up a new term for me: “Sensuists. Someone who rejoices in the sensory experience. A sensualist is someone concerned with gratifying his sexual appetites.” (p. xviii). For me, my camping synesthesia led to a sensual, sensuous evening and next morning in the experience of the senses – with any context of sexual too small, limiting, for my union with nature.
To sit on the floor board with Roy’s side door open and chop up onions, kale, chard, peppers, for dinner.
To allow dinner to become breakfast.
To have morning picnic table yoga and tree top gazing.
To rinse peaches and marvel at sheer luscious beauty.
To charge up my toothbrush with campsite electricity!
My time on Whidbey was love without question; as has been this now month long gypsy tour, with kind and generous people everywhere I went. Thursday biking and hiking, exploring my way mid-way down the western side of the island to Fort Casey State Park, I camped by the Keystone Ferry Landing that runs a large ferry to Port Townsend. (camping to left of ferry.)
Thursday’s short Deception Pass walk down the water’s edge, I came upon the tree pictured below and immediately thought “oh how different, how interesting”, only to catch myself in the irony of if the tree had been a person, I would have more likely thought “oh how deformed, crippled.” What does it take to change such conscious and subconscious judgement to more neutral observation? As a very young child I was scared by my Tennessee Uncle Hershel, born breach with significant physical and mental lifelong handicaps. Kept on the farm without therapy or training, Hershel was a wild human-creature to me, used for his brute physical strength and otherwise allowed to generally roam as he pleased.
AND, close with some BIG NEWs reported in the “Cascade Weekly”. “It’s a big week for breakups. In addition to the news that Gavin Rossdale and Gwen Stefani have split after about 13 years of marriage, Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy also announced their separation via Facebook posts: “Our personal lives are now distinct and separate, and we will be seeing other people, frogs, et. al..” they wrote. This is our only comment on this private matter. Thank you for understanding.”
LAST BUT NOT LEAST, the “Pee Count”…definitely more outside than in!