I wasn’t looking for inspiration–let alone spooky inspiration–when I opened a map of our island in order to decide which trail to explore on a very sunny Sunday. I decided to revisit a favorite spot, packed a notebook and a snack, and toddled off.
The trail had everything I needed. Dappled sun lighting massive trees and spilling across curious side paths the width of a deer. Full sun, a salty breeze, and patches of daffodils and narcissus when I reached the coast. There were even fresh eggs at the nearby farmstead (Salt Spring Islanders LOVE their fresh eggs).
Leaving the farmstand–which was at the end of a long, steep, rutted dirt road, I saw a sign for a museum and followed that dirt lane. Apple trees lined either side, all labeled, and some of the trees’ names were quite familiar from the witches and druids in my Magic series.
We parked. A faded sign said, ‘Curator Parking Only’. The door to the sagging barn was open. Cobwebs and dust covered everything. And arrayed across tables with hand-lettered signs were piles and piles of the stuff humans leave behind: dishes, glass bottles, metal tools, leather shoes and gloves. More bottles, more dishes. Toothbrushes and hair brushes carved from bone and ivory.
This island has history. Like, most every place, its history is complicated, hidden under layers and layers of dirt.