Sunday, April 10, 2016

Hiking the uplands on Saltspring Island.

The wind rattles the tree tops as our hiking group follows a steep narrow trail cut through the dense undergrowth and I glance up thoughtfully, thinking of dead trees and falling branches. It is a cool, blustery morning snatched between rainy days. With luck we will not get soaked after all. Soon we emerge onto a mossy, rocky hilltop and can see the low clouds and feel the full force of the wind. Ahead of us lies the Burgoyne Valley capped with a dense blanket of dark grey cloud and farther out beyond the cloud's hairy edge are the Gulf Islands, Haro Strait and a lone freighter about to zig-zag around Turn Point and Saturna Island on its way to Vancouver. All bathed in beautiful silver light.

We stop for lunch in this windy damp place, hunkering down out of the wind, and I have half an hour to feel the chill, the drifts of cloudy vapour and savour the rawness of it all. We are in April but up here a few hundred feet above the sea, Spring is taking it's sweet old time. And, I love it! After all those sweet-blossomed promises of peace and love down near the sea there is a more austere love on offer on this rocky hilltop and I feel it in the wuthering wind and drifts of dark cloud.

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