Tuesday, July 18, 2000
don't mean to discount any of the other places Ive written about, or traveled to, or
read about or imagined in my wildest dreams, but this islands somethin!
and I decided to leave the boat tied up and explore this place on foot.
We walked 4 miles up the road and came in contact with two cars. The one
going the same direction as us stopped and apologized for not giving us a ride, but he was
only going to the next driveway.
Betsy was determined to find the islands cemetery.
It sounded like a good enough reason to traipse around so we headed for "Boat
Cove" where Peter said wed find it. Well we didnt find it, but what we
did find was a place that is as good as humanity gets.
We had a picnic on the beach and
watched the waves roll in. We explored caves and found sand dollars on the beach. We
happened upon a set of old wagon wheels. Just looking at the size and at how much energy
it took to make them was astounding.
And these could still be used. They were built to last. It just makes sense. There is no
electricity on the island. No car ferry. Not much of a connection to the outside world.
All resources are used efficiently. Everything is recycled. And I dont mean just
recycling aluminum cans back to the factory. I mean re-using everything until theres
nothing left to use, then make art out of it. I overheard a conversation about how old Mel
has an old inter tube at his place and if we need a new gasket for the hot water tank, we
might be able to use some of it. People here use solar power in the summer and wind
generators in the winter. Why dont we all? Just like Adventuress, just like
we are dealing with limited resources, limited fresh pure water, limited
fuel, limited space. I always knew we had the technology to live this way to really
sustain ourselves without killing the planet. I just never thought there was a whole
community actually doing it.
I lie in bed and think of ways to make solar hot water
heaters for when I have a house someday. And I have even drawn designs of ways to make
electricity from the rise and fall of the tides. And here I am in a place that is actually
living and thriving that way. I feel like I really came home. This is how I want to live.
This is the only way to stop the destruction of the planet. This place tugs at my core
This place is who I am.
How ironic, that I just last week proposed to a woman who cannot live
without running water, flush toilets, hot showers and some of the other
"necessities" that western society has to sustain. There are whole other
cultures being pushed further and further into poverty. Everyone in the world cant
be rich. But we can all be happy and healthy. I guess that is not news to anyone. We just
play the hand that were dealt. I guess it is all about compromise. And although
lifes journey took me to this place for a reason, it also brought me to her for a
reason. And she is one necessity I will never give up.
We returned to the boat exhausted from our excursion. We had some supper
then went ashore again to see the sunset and found yet another magical place. Just on the
other side of the bay there was another cove with a tree swing overlooking the sea. I
could barely get Betsy off of it. Then we heard voices and made our way to Miguels
place. He and Brooney were sitting around the fire laughing and singing. Miguel lives here
in the summer and works at a cantina on the beach in Mexico all winter. He is a graduate
of M.I.T. and he had tenure at a college in Boston as a professor of engineering. He found
himself in Mexico recovering from chemotherapy and just needing to heal. He decided to
stay and had his daughter get rid of his things. The next spring, he walked from Puerto
Escondido to the United States then got on a train, then found himself on this island.
That was three years ago. We thanked him for his stories and for the hot cocoa with
place. And he said, if you ever happen to come across Players Blend special
cut tobacco, I would sure appreciate it. That night I lay in bed wondering.