Easter and The Island

Sac Roe Mountain

These eggs you cannot dye. I tried.

Here it is, Easter Sunday, and there are upwards of thirty miles of herring spawn on the beaches around Sitka Sound and no evidence that the tide is turning anytime soon.  This is fine, and even dandy, because the curiously wonderful stench of rotting roe is authentically indicative of the statement that, around here, “Spring is in the air.”  Finally.

Whales and sea lions, otters and eagles enjoy the bounty right alongside the fishermen and children that are snagging up abundant herring that will continue to loiter about the surrounding waters throughout the spawn time and into the next month or so.  Inland, the skunk cabbage is a-blooming in muskegs and roadside trenches, the rambling alder and rhododendron bushes sporting taut buds, and even the chickadees and wrens are beginning to sing their unique odes to joy.

Daily Sitka Sentinel Photo by James Poulson

Daily Sitka Sentinel Photo by James Poulson

The herring fleet of recent memory has since moved on and my chick posse has shifted their focus to other conquests… things that include peeling back the layers of winter wear to expose the ravages of time spent, perhaps, a bit too well (read: must join gym) in and on the lounges about town.  Enough commiserating, my peeps, we must lace up our sneakers and step out into the light to explore the island in the name of revitalization and hope, which is precisely what the promise of Spring implies: a whole new opportunity to fine-tune the rest of our lives.  Once again.

Here is a poem called “The Island,” that simply and eloquently sums up why we live the way we do:

If ever you’ve lived on an island
if ever you’ve lived by the sea;
You’ll never return to the mainland
once your spirit has been set free.

If ever you’ve smelled the ocean
or tasted the salt in the air;
You’ll know you’ve discovered a hatch
that is uncommon, precious and rare.

If you’ve ever seen the whales play
or watched the eagles in flight;
You’ll remember, again, why you live here
and why it feels so right.

If you’ve ever seen the sun set
as the ferry passed the shore;
You’ve seen the beauty of the island
that will be with you forever more.

If you’ve heard the seagulls
the waves, a foghorn, the winds;
Then you’ve heard the song of the island
and the peaceful message it sends.

Indeed, if you live on an island
if you’ve lucky to live by the sea;
You’ll never return to the mainland
as your spirit has been set free.

-J. Earnhart © ’92

To my peepsAnd there you have it, my blessings to step away from the computer, to leave cyberspace and go play outside.  Meanwhile, WSW wishes you a happy Easter and a dangerously adventurous Spring!  Here’s a fun link to a guy that loves his peeps in an entirely different way!

*Photo cred to James Poulson at the Daily Sitka Sentinel.  Click here for some of his amazing pics from Sac Roe Herring Season 2009!

*Big thanks to Dan Littlefield for the spawned-on branches photo!

*Thanks to Mara S. for the poem!



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4 responses to “Easter and The Island

  1. Cindy Trussell

    The desire to get outside was encouraged on Easter by a bright and sunny day here and some waffles with strawberries. So out I went ‘a snowshoein’ and with the 4 legged friends. It was a glorious day and glad to have had it for now it appears we are in for a long soak.

    I enjoyed the poem.

  2. What an inspiring, soaring poem. There’s like a freedom to it. And it reminds me of Cape Cod, where I was lucky enough to have my relatives retire. Every summer, I get my dose of the ocean, enough to hold me over until the next summer…….

  3. Ruth Hancock

    I am trying to locate and communicate with J. Earnhart about her poem about living on an island. Could you help?

  4. dustybee

    Wish I could help. The poem was sent by a friend. So sorry. google?!?

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