Posted: 6 Nov, 2019

The ferry from Colman’s dock, Seattle, to Winslow, Bainbridge Island, takes 30 minutes and costs $8.50 (about R130) for a return trip- there is a cheaper monthly for the locals.

The first thing I notice about Bainbridge Island is its thick coat of young forests. The island is carpeted with tall and healthy groves of cedar trees, Douglas firs many over 80 feet tall. My friend Nathan takes me on a hike through the Grand Forest. He points out the big decaying stumps of the previous generation of trees that were harvested- many are more than triple in circumference to the younger generation.

Most of the island’s trees were felled to rebuild Seattle after the devastating fire in 1889. New policies and regulations now govern the use of forests and natural habitat on the island. Large tracts of lands are now held in trust and are protected from being used for development- no pun or misnomer intended! Perhaps the forest of Bainbridge Island can become Grand again.

I notice that many of the old stumps support or nurse the growth of saplings growing from their detritus. If left on its own nature takes care of itself. But our help can restore the equilibrium of this delicate ecology.

Compost for the forest (Food for thought)
What is unique about the habitat in your home town? What makes it unique in the eyes of a visitor?
What would happen if that habitat were to change dramatically because of over-development, pollution, a disaster or mining for example? [Read up on the Exxon Valdez that ran aground in 1989 Alaska-…/remembering-the-exxon…/100703/
In what ways can I be mindful of not contributing to the disturbing the natural order in my environment or placing a strain on the natural resources in my area?
What comes up for you as you read the words of Mary Oliver’s A Dream of Trees below:

A Dream of Trees

There is a thing in me that dreamed of trees,
A quiet house, some green and modest acres
A little way from every troubling town,
A little way from factories, schools, laments.
I would have time, I thought, and time to spare,
With only streams and birds for company,
To build out of my life a few wild stanzas.
And then it came to me, that so was death,
A little way away from everywhere.
There is a thing in me still dreams of trees.
But let it go. Homesick for moderation,
Half the world’s artists shrink or fall away.
If any find solution, let him tell it.
Meanwhile I bend my heart toward lamentation
Where, as the times implore our true involvement,
The blades of every crisis point the way.
I would it were not so, but so it is.
Who ever made music of a mild day?
— Mary Oliver