Monday, June 13, 2011

I Hear the Lummis Drumming Through the Night

This is a line from a villanelle poem I wrote this weekend while visiting Lummi Island.  OM and I slept out under the stars on the sandy beach in sleeping bags; it was fan-TAS-tic!  The air was cool but pleasant, the sand was pretty warm from the day's sun and so comfortable, like our own custom adjustable mattress, and the stars were out.  The moonlight was bright and I watched the herons fishing by its light--I didn't know herons fished at night, but they do!  They made their low, guttural heron noises and skimmed over the water, swooping and diving.  My dad wrote a poem about a heron called Shitepoke( which is another word for heron, I believe), and in his poem they say, "GOD, GOD, GOD!"  And I can now confirm the truth of this for myself, not that I would doubt my dad on birds or poetry, or much else for that matter.  Anyhow, this show was going on and in the distance from across the water was the sound of the Lummi Indians drumming and singing. I could picture the fancydancers in my head and just laid there on the beach taking it in and drifted off to a surprisingly wonderful night's sleep amidst all of it.  Thank you Lummi Island. 

The weekend with the girls was fun, funny, relaxing, exciting, and completely rejuvenating.  I was only there for 24 hours but it felt like much longer.  Just being away from everything made time freeze for me and I had not a care in the world.  I found tons of good beach loot: beach glass, agates, shells, cool lookin' rocks; the kids will have fun sorting through it today.  We laughed and told stories and shared and teased and listened to Many Blankets deliver her sermons.  I had a notebook and captured some choice quotes.  One of my faves, from Blankets of course, was something like, "Honor is doing what we do based on our values--and those fluctuate."  Another was, "Do the best you can while you're awake."  I can't bring myself to type the dirty one she said about what we should "Tweeter someone." 

In line for the ferry on the way home, we were behind a hippie van/bus with 3 kids from Michigan.  The hippie boy in the group took out his accordion (yay!) and played a beautiful song and I videoed it on my camera, and panned over to the Sisters sitting on the side of the road talking, and the gorgeous garden with the espaliered fruit trees behind them, and the Sound beyond that, sort of like our own personal soundtrack.  It was a lovely way to wrap up a lovely, lovely weekend.  Thank you, Sisters!


  1. Hey Cher
    Your heron moment-awe-inspiring. I didn't know they fished at night either but what a cool experience watching that. ThANks for sharing.

    Have heard of Lummi-Julia's BFF goes there each summer. Sounds just idyllic-so glad you get to visit.

    Scheduling time with good women friends is essential to my mental health so I can completely appreciate what you experienced on that isle.