Friday, June 4, 2010

Building a life # 26 Windy Point.

From our new campsite at Windy Point we can look back along the reef rimmed shoreline to Arbutus Point and the stranger`s camp that presently occupies our familiar summer home. After the initial disappointment we are very happy up here on the top of the sandstone bluff. Someone before us has made a driftwood table and there is just enough room for our tents. In the afternoons the sea breeze rushes through the rugged fir tree and the dry summer grasses. A little bay lies below us, divided down the middle by the spine of a reef, and beyond lie the rocky Pellow Islets. Only occasionally does a small yacht dare to work its way through the reefs into the bay and anchor for the night. We are (almost) lords of all we survey.

We have found a direct trail that leads to the center of the island where the pump is located amid the grassy fields and near the old ruined farm house. This was once settled by Hawaiian pioneers and later owned by several folks who dreamed of the perfect life in the Gulf Islands. All is now gone back to nature and is a park for all to enjoy. Lucky us. Sometimes Heather and I imagine our own little clearing and its buildings melting back into the bush and, thanks to our experience on Portland Island, we find this thought a comforting one.

We can take long walks along the shoreline trails, visit the two main bays where yachts can anchor easily, or take our flotilla of little craft and row, paddle and sail along the shores, around the island and back home to Windy Point. “There are our tents,” we cry as we rush through the narrow channel by the Pellow Islets on the frothy backs of the waves of the afternoon breeze.


The Last Hurrah.

There is no obvious point when settlers become the settled but this summer adventure with the girls seems as good a place as any to say that the greater adventure we have been involved in as we created a new home in the Big Woods has become simply normal life for us. We are much more self reliant and resourceful people now and this will give us the foundation on which to build more family adventures in the future. When the girls enter their teens I will rebuild the barn into horse stables. Show jumping and dressage will keep them challenged. Later we will all take a winter holiday with Amazon, our catamaran, in the Bahamas and Mexico. When the girls have completed University ( they worked and paid their own way) and Heather has earned another creative writing degree and published a couple of books (The Patti Stories) we will have our Shiriri Adventure in the Pacific. All of this confidence to keep stepping off the beaten path we can trace back to these years in the Big Woods.

The barn underwent yet another transformation when we returned home from our ocean adventures. It is now my art studio/gallery. Just the other day I needed to enter some photographs into a gallery show and it looked like getting my entries printed and framed to a high standard would be just too expensive. Very naturally I pulled out of storage some rough cedar planks that I had milled from my own trees, ran then through my table saw, sanded, glued and painted them. I bought glass cheaply in large sheets and cut it to various sizes. Matting, mounting, putting it all together took care and time, attention to detail, but the results were fine. After all, isn`t that what we have been learning to do all these years?

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