I have always wanted a water commute.
I’ve had one, from time to time. When I housesat for a friend of a friend on Vashon Island, two glorious weeks of living on an organic farm in an old cedar cabin. One room, heated by a woodstove. There was an old velvet couch and round table in one corner, by the window and close to the woodstove, and I sat there, late into those summer nights, feeding twigs into the fire and writing and writing and writing. There was a wall of windows where the back wall used to be, looking out into the ravine, and there was a tiny kitchen and there was a water commute, every morning, leaving the farm and crossing the water to downtown, to my job at Save Our Wild Salmon. A day trying to figure out how to get Republicans to listen to the facts and Democrats to have a spine… disheartening many days. But then back over the water, and the water was magic. The 20 minutes of looking out at the pattern of light on wave, searching the surface for seals or cormorants, looking far out to the Olympic Mountains…
When I got home, the day – no matter how difficult – was gone.
It was like those years when I lived in San Francisco, and rode my motorcycle to my bartending job, and rode home, and the wind over my body washed away every stupid drunk, every mad rush, every smell of gin and ice and disinfectant, so that when I got home, I was cleaned by air.
The elements, washing me clean.
Water. Air. Now, water again.
I am again having a bit of a water commute. The ferry is back in my life because my sweetheart lives on an island. I take a ferry to him. I stay the night. This water commute is the opposite of the last; I am not bookending my work with these trips. I am bookending the dream time of being with this man in separate private world. The island is mossier, more treed, less populated by time. I am not shedding the worries of my day as I return home. I am shedding the penetrating hypnosis of this earth and water love, which sometimes takes away my words and my drive and replaces them with a slow and steady drift, a sinking, a resting in the deep of my heart and also the surface of my skin. I leave his house. I board the ferry and sit by the window. The water shines and undulates, echoing in my skin the long night behind me, and slowly, slowly, I shed the magic and return to the noise and tasks of the city.