To Follow Animal Tracks

Last weekend we had some visitors. They came from both across the bay and across the continent and though they didn't stay long, we got a lot done.  Thirty-six hours is plenty for walks, talks, art, food, Tarot, clothes and adventures. 

Demetria  and Phoebe came carrying chai tea, gifts and colorful pillows (we don't have enough guest pillows) and stayed for two days and two nights. I'd never met Phoebe before in person, but as Demetria who's an astrology buff pointed out: "Aquarians usually get along great." I've found this to be true in my life, I have way more fellow Aquarius pals than friends in any other single sign. Lucky for all of us, Capricorns also get on splendidly with Aquariuses. That is if they can get us to shut up for a moment. With our two Capricorn, two Aquarian team we made the most of the little time we had.

Having visitors from off Island is a lot of fun for us, because it gives us an opportunity to get out of our usual routine and see everything with new eyes. 

The first evening we wondered around the neighborhood, checking out all different animal folks that live here, from wild turkeys, to goats, to old cats. Demetria was making friends with every animal that we crossed paths with, but she particularly bonded with our neighbor's old black cat. I always get the best vibe from people who are nice to animals and whom animals in turn trust. Honestly though, it seemed like Demetria had the magic touch, or maybe they just know that she's a witchy woman...

We rambled down to one of our most beautiful beaches in the almost warm late winter sunshine and looked for cool rocks and beach finds and nibbled on kelp and took tons of pictures.

A giant, wandering dog from the neighborhood joined us, running around and trying to squeeze into group photos.

Later that night we headed to the bar for some local color and a band, the girls wearing new outfits from the Fireweed&Nettle storage room. The bar was as full as will be midwinter when nothing much is happening and everyone is hungry for entertainment and company. It was pretty fun to hear the girl's take on the whole Island scene.

Being a visitor in a small town where most everyone knowns most everyone, must be kind of a lark. There's so much gossip, so many relationships and rifts and history, that being plopped right in the middle of that must be pretty funny.

The next morning we made waffles and discussed the nature of art (and possibly socialism), before heading out to check out more sights. The girls did watercolor sketches and the whole kitchen smelled like the wonderful witch-hazel branch that Phoebe brought with her. Well, that is until it smelled like burnt oil. Hazards of wood stove cooking...

We visited our friend's awesome little wood-fired bakery, because Demetria was curious to see it. Phoebe and I opted to sit outside with the kid and the animals, and she made fast friends wit these pups, in spite of being a self-professed non-dog-person. I call this image "St. Phoebe of The Canines". 

After lunch we went on one of our favorite walks, Charlie in tow graciously (I think he secretly enjoyed it!) putting up with our non-stop chatter and constant demands for group-shots. The spot looks a little like the outer islands of Ireland and we talked Findhorn (where Phoebe has visited), Ayurvedic Doshas and always, our relationship with the internet, social media, realness and productivity. 

It was so interesting to hear their thoughts on a lot of topics that we have different perspectives on since they're in different fields and younger than us. Their ideas on some of the "big life stuff" are so much clearer and more meaningful than my own were at their age and it's always really heartening for an old lady like me to get to hear from hopeful, enthusiastic, creative, magical young folk. No but seriously, I love getting a little peek into the lives and thoughts of others. 

The funny thing about "internet friends" that I think is hard for people who've never met someone online, is that you already know quite a bit about each other and have a lot more in common than casual acquaintances that might have come together through work, or mutual pals. There's a lot that you don't know about a person always, but there's also the casual intimacy of seeing the small pieces of each other's daily lives that the internet offers, and reading each other's words, and seeing what each of you likes and appreciates. In a lot of ways as much as online life can be alienating, it can also help form genuine connections and it has always been my experience that if you think you're gonna like someone you've met on the interwebs, the odds are good that it is the case in real life.

Though Phoebe and Demetria are old friends, I'd only met Demetria once before but already seeing her step of the ferry I was felt like "Hey old pal." This visit made me look forward many more future ones, letters and emails and thoughts flung across the country and the water. 

Now, if only I could convince Phoebe to star in my murder-mystery film-short. Her audition was near perfect, save for that radiant smile. 

Once we got home we spent a merry night of cooking and eating Demetria's gorgeous and delicious rye and chocolate chip bread and reading Tarot. The next morning we took them to the ferry were sad to see them go, but so glad they could stop by. And now they know how to get here and where the spare key is, so...