10th February 2020

Orcas weather is highly changeable, sometimes extreme, sometimes bland, occasionally both in the same hour of the same day, but never predictable or boring. Resident humans are very similar, constantly surprising, pleasantly unrepresentative, a mixed bag of feast and famine that defies predictive expectation.

Our present biblical proportioned rainfall is a perfect case in point. The god of weather being unsatisfied with the wholly usual and expected seasonal downpours necessary to refresh soil and foliage alike had decided in his/her wisdom to redirect for a number of consecutive days a large portion of the Salish sea, to fall unmercilessly atop not only Mount Constitution but the whole island in general.  The populous naturally reacted with their expected mixed bag of praise and condemnation. The pendulous mechanism of public opinion started relatively in balance but within a day or two decidedly favored the negative repercussions over any positive benefits. The thankful indigenous rain dance was superseded by the puritanical imaginings of stock and whipping post usage at the town’s crossroads, or to be more accurate the central three-way we also all inclined to love and curse intermittently.

My scribblings whilst seeming arbitrary are very reflective of my previously tightly closeted thoughts and emotions. The ideas, concepts, inclinations have long percolated in my self- controlled environs without opportunity for expression. Such an admission seems strange from someone who for most of their adult life very diligently produced a mass of fictional literature, prose, poetry, scrips and plays, even a smattering of non-fictional procrastination. In truth writing is an excellent disguise, a cloak that can be fully wrapped around actual thoughts and beliefs, a suit of nondescript armor deflecting the piercing and cutting weapons of a perceived unkind judgmental world.

My own early writings were published under pseudonym, a means of anonymity for myself and to disassociate my work from familial association. Much that I penned, penned being the accurate terminology in those days, was deemed anarchistic, antisocial, bawdy, overly permissive, extreme, violent, cumulatively unsuited for my perceived upbringing or position. For years I successfully presented a public facade of blandness, emotional detachment and unworldliness to judiciously conceal the blistering lava pouring ceaselessly from my carefully secreted creativity. Only upon arrival in the Americas did I begin to claim my literary heritage.

Australian Shepherd slash Pyrenean Mountain crosses are particularly fond of sodden or even partially water covered ground.  This fascinating factoid was explained to me by the lady owner of just such a beast whilst we chatted briefly near the lakeside feed center for the Moran one-hundred-mile trail run.  As I have previously testified at some length, with suitable photographic evidentiary support, Moran was at the time as damp and waterlogged as I or many a much longer-term resident had ever witnessed. The combination of two reasonably abundant snow falls and the cumulative downpouring of seven of eight days rain had produced, to use apt cinematic terminology, the Perfect Storm.

The interchange was sudden and without particular purpose, simply resultant from the fact that the hound’s leash was tied rather precariously to the lady’s coat belt. This unusual arrangement necessarily caught enough of my attention to warrant comment. After a momentary interplay around the dog taking the lady for a walk she proceeded to explain that the cross not only possessed the extra toed pads of the Pyrenean blood line, perfectly sensible in Alpine terrain, but also a mysterious additional toe on one of his front paws. Unfortunately, no red barrel full of brandy was genetically appropriated about his muscular neck.

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