Closing the Tidal Door


The golden retriever wants to continue down the thin strip of gravel that momentarily links Douglas Island with Shaman. With our access to tide tables, the retriever’s owner and I know that the tide turned a half and hour ago. We can see that the waves hitting from both sides of the path are about to meet to swamp the trail and close the road to Shaman Island until the next minus tide. The old dog would push on after the trail floods, perhaps because she doesn’t remember how winter water chills after it soaks her fine, long hair. Aki, who only swims when caught unawares by a beach drop off, stands content at my side. When the retriever returns we walk across the exposed beach, happy that for the moment that rain had stopped and we can see a blue strip of glacier framed in Payne’s gray and spruce green.


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