On San Juan Island, there are two no-longer-functioning military base camps, one for the British and one for the Americans. They are now historical relics that tourists go to and marvel over. I went on a beautiful hike that started at the old British camp. The hike started by the white buildings that use to be mess halls and homes. There was a manicured garden full of flowers and bumble bees. A long time ago, military could sit in the garden and dream about home. They could walk up the hills and get lost amongst the trees. They could look toward the water and know that the water they looked out connected to water that connected to water that eventually lapped upon the shores of their home.
There was a cemetery on the hike. Underneath the headstones, underneath the dirt, inside an old wooden coffin, were the skeletons of soldiers from long ago. One of the men buried is William Taylor. He was only 31 years old when his brother accidentally shot him. It's such a sad story. When they use to run along the English countryside together as boys playing cops and robbers, they had no idea one would accidentally fatally shoot the other.
I saw a lizard on the hike. It was a little creature. He looked back at me before scurrying away, crunching the dead leaves as he scampered to the safety of the woods.
On the top of the hill, we saw a grand view and birds soaring above us. We made sounds to imitate the birds so they'd come closer but they ignored us and continued circling the sky.
These pictures are from several months ago, and now the hike isn't as clear in my head. But I remember passing a strange fellow on the way down the hill. I can't remember what was strange about him. I just remember we made up a story about him. He was thousands of years old, or from a parallel universe, or a ghost that wandered the woods. He was the spirit of the island, temporarily taking the human form before dispersing back into the trees and water.