We’ve hiked Kelly’s Point a handful of times, usually with Murphy in tow. Actually, he’s rarely in tow along the beach. He’s usually footloose pawloose and free, free to wander the wrack line and find half of a smelly old crab claw, or a half-decayed seagull, or a fish left over from the ice ages. By leftover I mean that’s how long it’s been dead. He rolls in it back and forth because that’s what dogs do, to add some sex appeal to their presence – like the smelly perfume I remember my third-grade teacher wearing, almost like tear gas. Fortunately, I’m not stuck in a classroom with Murphy. Although we must all get back in our car in Anacortes. Uh-oh. This could be bad.
But I digress. I should be talking about art.
Kelly’s Point has art. It’s filled with art.
Approaching Kelly’s Point on the beach we stopped to admire the gate of a nearby neighbor, who had an octopus for a gate, eight arms flowing formidably to say ‘keep out’, yet with an artistic touch.
At Kelly’s Point, four kids were blowing soap bubbles and nibbling on snacks. No parents in sight. But then this is Guemes, so no one is concerned, least of all the kids, free to play as they wish on the beach.
Also, this being Guemes, check out the bench at the Kelly’s Point parking area. It is such an exquisite piece of workmanship, inviting a sit to enjoy the view even if you don’t need to rest awhile.
Sometimes the art is created by people, putting jingle shells (the flat bottom ones with holes in them) in the branches of fallen trees, or putting pretty rocks in a line on logs, or adding eyes and a mouth to a piece of driftwood to make it look like a whale, or an eagle, or, if I squint, quite a bit like my third-grade teacher.
Sometimes nature is the artist, using winds and waves, falling rains, falling rocks, falling trees, any tool at its disposal.
Kath can look at the cliffs and see stories in sandstone, sparkling colored canvases carved into patterns, or castles, or abstract sculpture. She sees faces in the sweep of the driftwood, beauty in fallen branches or the textures of cobblestones. She takes photos of what she sees, finding inspiration for new weavings or drawings, or just as a reminder of the ever-changing artistry here.
Me not so much. I just see ripple lines in the sandy cliffs, stripes in the rocks, and trees ready to topple from the top of the bluff a hundred feet above me, much like the trees down on the beach that just fell a year ago, or last month, or maybe yesterday? Some are still up there, hanging on by one last overstretched root, the other roots dangling in air like a half dozen swords of Damocles.
But in this wild feeder bluff and its beach below, I see earth stories from time immemorial when the land was tropical, and from when it lay a mile under glacial ice. I enjoy expansive views to Cypress, and sailboats and workboats cruising down the island passages looking like illustrations out of Life magazine. Sometimes sunlit whitecaps roll down the waterway. On this day the waves were just wavelets, nowhere to go and in no hurry to get there. Sunshine had followed us here, but rising storm clouds began to mute the light, the islands, the point, and the art. The waters turned steely gray, waterfowl riding the rising waves then diving beneath.
And I see this gift of Guemenites (Guemeneers? Guemesites? Guemenies?) who donated generously to preserve this special corner of the island, the best art of all.
“Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart." –Kahlil Gibran
Then I remember we still have to get back in the car with Murphy.
Thoughts to ponder:
1. What things may keep us from seeing the beauty that's always around us?
2. What's the value of beauty in your life?
3. How can we share beauty with others, thus enriching their lives?
Directions: Take your bike on he Skagit 410 bus or drive to the Guemes Ferry Terminal at 6th Street and I Avenue in Anacortes. Take the ferry to Guemes Island. Walk the beach westward to Kelly's Point, or follow South Shore Drive west to the parking lot where South Shore Drive becomes West Shore Drive. Respect private property, of course.
Mobility: the ferry approach ramps are sloped. The roadways are paved and mostly flat or gently sloped, with minimal traffic. The beach is sandy and gravelly and not passable at the highest of tides.
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