After arriving in Seattle last Wednesday just in time for dinner with my aunt and uncle, on Thursday morning my brother, who moved to Seattle about 6 months ago, and I drove out to the San Juan Islands, about an hour and a half drive from Seattle and then another hour ride on the ferry. My aunt and uncle own a cabin on the main San Juan island, a couple minutes outside the city of Friday Harbor, where we stayed until Friday afternoon. The weather was perfect, about 55-60 degrees, just right to grill some steaks for dinner on the back deck while listening to Sara Groves’ new record, “Tell Me What You Know”.
Whenever I hear a song from Sara’s third record, “All Right Here”, I think of the five weeks I spent in the Dominican Republic a couple years ago, helping lay the groundwork for a new church. Most every evening, before I went to bed, I would walk out to the patio behind my apartment, gaze up into the sky, past the palm trees, into the vast expanse of stars, and listen to Sara’s music over the sound of the waves crashing on the rocks fifteen feet away. Whenever I hear “Remember Surrender”, “Maybe There’s a Loving God”, or any of the other songs from that record now, it takes me back to those nights just outside of San Pedro de Macorís. I have a feeling that now, whenever I hear “It Might Be Hope”, along with the rest of the songs on “Tell Me What You Know”, I’ll be transported back to that evening on the island, eating steak and grilled bell peppers, drinking red wine, and soaking in the beauty all around me. And hopefully I’ll be reminded to open my eyes to the beauty around me in that minute, to not give up when I don’t see any reason to keep on believing, to realize that what I caught a glimpse of around the next corner just might be hope.
Friday, after lunch, we drove around the island for a little sight-seeing. A couple minutes from the cabin, we passed a sign by the side of the road that had once said “watch for ice”, before someone scribbled an M before the last word. “That”, I said to my brother, “is when you know you’re in a small town”. We visited the sites of the American and British army camps, dating from 1859 when the two countries were on the brink of war. Over a pig. Seriously. Somehow, it was amicably resolved, and both countries enjoy their own pork today.
Here are a couple pictures.