I had the good fortune to spend time at the Chito Beach Resort, which is on the far side of Sekiu. This is not a resort that soothes your body with spas and massages. It is a resort that soothes your sad and depleted spirit from the bad juju all around us.
Its trick is to use luxurious cabins in the quiet of the woods and water. Nature is a well-known elixir, of course. Its curative power surrounds you with time to reflect and restore. It allows you to stare happily at the tide rolling in, rolling out. It delights you with nothing more than a crab in a tidepool. It’s an eagle sunbathing on the beach or a tiny calliope hummingbird with a bad attitude about your presence.
For the great many of us who have moved to the Olympic Peninsula, nature is the balm that brought us here.
As there are only six cabins at Chito Beach, the handful of guests could hardly annoy each other. In fact, for a couple days we skulked around, not seeing anyone much closer than the gray whales that pass this way.
By the third day, we admitted that humans are most comfortable in packs or herds. We were there on the first days we could gather, in small numbers, outdoors without masks. The hosts built a bonfire, and we all sat to chat with our faces on view; it felt darn near as revealing as a nude beach.
We were all out of practice with small talk. After the initial “hellos” and “where you headeds,” conversation lulled. Digging any deeper was painful. Nobody wanted to talk politics, and nobody wanted to talk Covid. We are such a weary population. Soon, people stared into the fire, and I suspect we all paid silent homage to those who’ve lost their livelihoods and, worst, their lives in the last year.
In time, and with the help of wine, the chatter flowed. But it was subdued, without the shouts and belly laughs from the Time Before the Masks. That kind of celebration may still be down the road, after each of us has a lot more campfires under our belts again.
I’ve come home with a little more hope that bad juju hasn’t been permanently embedded into our land. We cannot lose this earth on our watch.
Linda B. Myers is a founding member of Olympic Peninsula Authors. Her newest historical novel, “Dr. Emma’s Improbable Happenings,” is available at Port Book and News, One of a Kind Gallery, and on Amazon.com. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.