Dear Vashon: Island Magic!

An illustration celebrating Vashon from a long time ago: “Sanctuary Origami” – art by Jane Valencia
The Wild in Witness – photo by Jane Valencia

During these past months, I’ve had times where I wondered if what I loved about my island home was gone forever; this has been deeply painful to my heart. Lately things have been shifting in that regard, and I’ve been feeling like I’ve woken from a disturbed sleep or from a spell. I began to meet pockets of what I love in unexpected places, sprinkled through the island. Then today, I had a series of experiences that let me know that island magic is alive and well. In fact, I had one of those alchemical wild encounters absolutely meaningful and personal to me, that had me floored and delighted that it could happen.

Through my years on this island, I’ve enjoyed unique constellations of these experiences, and now I know for sure: the island speaks to me. The lovely thing about it, is that my fellow islanders are expressions of the island — the island flowing through and mingling with who they are as unique people. This is part of the miracle.

If you are an islander, you know that the island speaks to you too, directly, and in your particular language and mythos. My friends, the world is an astonishing, beautiful, holy and mischievous place. You will find the wild and the wondrous right outside your door, on forest trails and in post office lines. My friends, neighbors, colleagues — you who have chosen to live here, you know that the island called you. We are here at this time for a reason. Let’s remember who we are as a community, what we love about living here. Let’s call it back if it seems to have blown away. I assure you that what you love is still circling above the trees, is speaking companionably in the waters, is reaching up to meet you from the forest floor and waving hello along the sidewalks.

If you need to reground in the magic of Vashon Island, take some time to watch the 2016 performance: “Heart of Vashon – Telling Our Story.” Over 150 Islanders submitted their stories and poems. From what was submitted, a script was created to celebrate the spirit and character of this island known as Vashon. I’m honored to have been in this show.

Heart of Vashon – Telling Our Story

Enjoy, and let it remind us of who we really are: A community+nature that is vibrant, creative, celebrates differences, down-home, curious, problem-solving, playful, caring of one another, resourceful, loving of the earth and Sacred Mystery in any form, quirky, healing, and possessing grit, grace, and gratitude. Such a community is absolutely powerful medicine, and with it, we truly do not need to fear. With it, we have each other’s back, no matter who we are and how we choose to live our lives.

What brought you to Vashon? How is what you love still alive and well? How might we bring back what may feel lost?

Clouds are Angels – photo by Jane Valencia