Earth Wisdom Tarot Sacred Art

Island-Bound, Heading Home

in Home, Island Life, Place

Deer on the beach

Are you still feeling the reverberations of last weekend’s Full Moon? I sure am. I’m sailing on the energy of La Luna Bella, letting her carry me away to my beloved Heron House on Lummi Island.  Craig and I have been busting our behinds over the last couple of weeks, making repairs and renovations to the house. Each morning before picking up a paint roller or cleaning rag, I’ve gone out for a long walk. I either head down the road to the bay, or up the hill to let the view take my breath away. I’ve circled with sisters, spent the night on the beach, and painted trees on our bedroom walls. There are times when I am so choked up with gratitude at this homecoming, I don’t think I can even contain it all.

I’m back in Bellingham today, but Moving Day is this coming Friday.

Waiting in the ferry line

Grateful, grateful, grateful.

Craig and I built this straw bale house in 1999, and named it Heron House for the herons that live in the nearby slough. We lived there until 2008, when we moved to town. My dad lived with us the last few years of his life. Our friend Tami and her son Noah lived with us for awhile there too. So many memories in this house.

People often ask us why we left the island. It’s mainly because living according to a ferry schedule is very, very challenging. There are often long lines, it’s expensive, and when the ferry goes out you can get stuck on one side or the other. It’s the price islanders pay for living somewhere so beautiful.

After a couple of years in town, I started to say that I had been seduced by the convenience of living in town.  Ten minutes to the co-op, fifteen minutes to my favorite bookstore, ten minutes to visit the naturopath — instead of the all-day trips that leaving the island for errands and appointments often involves. I worked hard at blooming where I was planted, grateful for all the good things about living in town. I lived in a lovely house and had the woods for my backyard. But I still missed the island every single day.

Here’s a post I wrote shortly after we left, about the things I missed most about the island.

And now we’re returning, graced by all those things I missed so much.

We began our return home on Summer Solstice, at my friend Michele’s birthday party. It was lovely to be welcomed back to the island by so many folks I hadn’t seen in years. So much joy and celebration, for Michele, for the longest day of the year, for homecoming!

dance copy

On July 1st — the first day the house was ours again, after our tenants of six years had left — my mermaid sister Nora Cedarwind and I headed out to the island. We smudged the house with sage for cleansing, and sweetgrass for blessing, every nook and cranny. Nora is the reason I first moved to the island, and it felt so appropriate that she should be the one to be with me as the house became ours again.


On the weekend, Craig and I got down to work.  I cleaned and painted walls while he put down new terra cotta tiles in my studio (I decided I wanted to bring a little touch of the Southwest in, to warm things up!)

Craig laying tile

And later he installed new bamboo floors in the great room.

Bamboo floors!

In the mornings, I sat in my Pop’s old rocking chair on the front porch, listening and watching the day come alive. This is one of my all-time favorite things to do. There is a whole lot of work to be done in the garden, but it will come, in its own good time. I watched hawks soar, swallows flit, and listened as a barred owl hooted in the woods across the way.

Morning sun

We went for morning walks by the bay (how I have missed these walks!) . . .

Heron mountain bay

And a couple of times I climbed the hill behind our house, to be rewarded by the sheer beauty of the hilltop view.

Hilltop view

On Friday night, I gathered with a few island sisters and we spent the night on the beach.

candles on the beach

I woke more than once to see La Luna Bella sailing across the sky, and watched her set over Orcas Island as dawn was breaking. I wrote this blessing just after She disappeared:

La Luna Bella, thank you for watching over us all night long. We wake to birdsong and the sound of lapping waves, bathed in your beauty. As you set behind the western isles, bless our rising into this fair summer day. Blessed be.


After rolling up our sleeping bags, we gathered at Holly’s house for coffee, and she called an impromptu Storycatcher circle right then and there. I loved hearing the stories of how each of us first came to the island. I am looking forward to many more Storycatcher circles. (So grateful that Holly took Ann & Christina’s Circle Practicum training last summer  — and I’m taking it too, in just a few weeks.)


As Craig continued to lay tile this past weekend, I focused on painting trees on our bedroom walls. (I was inspired by the trees that Terri Windling painted on the walls of her cottage in Devon.)

Wall tree

I didn’t quite manage to finish painting the altar niche, but I will soon.

Altar niche

My island sisters Michele and Colleen (two of the women in the Gaian Tarot Three of Earth) showed up Sunday afternoon to do the grouting for the tile in my studio.  That’s true friendship!  Now every time I look at my studio floor, I will see that love that Craig and my sisters put into every inch of it. I will literally be standing on the shoulders of their love.

Michele & Colleen

Last night, we got in the ferry line to head back to Bellingham, weary and dirty as hell.

Tired me

And there She was, Komo Kulshan (Mt. Baker), the sentinel that guards all of us here in Whatcom County.  “She is mighty,” I murmured, repeating the words of my friend Latisha.

She is mighty

She is mighty, indeed.

We are coming home!

Thoughtful, sparkling comments. . .

  • Diane Tue - Jul 15th 2014 6:45 am

    Congratulations, dear Joanna! And wishing you all the oomph you need for Friday, Moving Day.

    • Joanna Powell Colbert Tue - Jul 15th 2014 6:49 am

      Thanks Diane!

  • cate Tue - Jul 15th 2014 7:10 am

    Doing a happy dance that you are moving back. Heron house and its island are beyond beautiful, and although you moved to the mainland a few years ago, I always “saw” you there on the island.

    • Joanna Powell Colbert Tue - Jul 15th 2014 7:30 am

      Thank you Cate for your vision, and for your happy dance!

  • Yvette Scott Tue - Jul 15th 2014 7:15 am

    Welcome home! May you find all the joy and peace that you need.

    • Joanna Powell Colbert Tue - Jul 15th 2014 7:30 am

      Thank you Yvette!

  • Jackie Tue - Jul 15th 2014 7:26 am

    Dear Joanna, this made me smile and then – when I saw your happy paint-smeared portrait at the end, tears…. tears of delight and homecoming through my smiles – tears for you and Craig and Heron House, together again. Beautiful! Love Jackie xxxx

    • Joanna Powell Colbert Tue - Jul 15th 2014 7:32 am

      Oh thank you Jackie! Love & Blessings to you!

  • Tina Tierson Tue - Jul 15th 2014 8:21 am

    Joanna, I’m fairly new to your blog so don’t know yet the whole history of Heron House and your move to the mainland. But reading this post made me cry. It must be so very wonderful to know you belong to a place, and especially such a beautiful one. That’s something I’ve never managed and reading this made me realize what a dear thing that is. Blessings to you, Craig, and Heron House. Just reading this makes me feel blessed to have “found” you.

    • Joanna Powell Colbert Wed - Jul 16th 2014 6:36 am

      Thank you Tina. So lovely to be connected with you.

  • Shell Tue - Jul 15th 2014 10:53 am

    Joanna, I’m so happy for you and Craig to be returning back to your beloved Island and home.

    • Joanna Powell Colbert Wed - Jul 16th 2014 6:36 am

      Thank you Shell!

  • Megan Cate Tue - Jul 15th 2014 11:40 am

    When we shared our day together, I heard and sensed your deep feelings for Lummi Island and Heron House. Inner Watcher held this in my heart then, and it felt like a prayer. No surprise to me when your sudden shift occurred soon thereafter! Blessings abound. Oddly enough, this is the second time in a year where I did a reading for someone with an unspoken deep need to “change nests,” and then action and fruition followed.

    • Joanna Powell Colbert Wed - Jul 16th 2014 6:37 am

      Megan, you must have a gift for facilitating this kind of change on an inner level. 🙂 Thank you and many blessings.

  • Madeline Tue - Jul 15th 2014 1:58 pm

    Ooohhhh.. everything about this post feels so right on.. so guided, so perfect for exactly this moment in your lives.How lovely that Craig is laying new foundations!! (Floors..) for you to step into this new cycle of Life together…

    ENJOY ENJOY ENJOY!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Joanna Powell Colbert Wed - Jul 16th 2014 6:38 am

      Madeline – thank you! And yes Craig is the model for the Builder in the Gaian Tarot — and that’s the front porch of Heron House. Now he is literally laying foundations again — thank you for pointing that out! Love it.

  • Sara Tue - Jul 15th 2014 5:15 pm

    Goodness me, Joanna. This post leaves my fingers and toes tingling with so much happiness, and an itchy reminder that I *still* have not made it to visit the island since moving to this area. I intend to fix that this summer! Thank you.

    • Joanna Powell Colbert Wed - Jul 16th 2014 6:39 am

      Thank you Sara! Whenever you come out to visit the island, be sure to stop by … email or call first and we’ll have a visit. I may host a women’s circle at Heron House too as soon as I get settled. Blessings!

  • Sanshin Tue - Jul 15th 2014 7:36 pm

    hi Joanna, Star Light Blessings, upon you and yours, and also Heron House.
    good luck on the move this Friday,a new beginning in creating & co-creating,
    in the realms of a majickal island / life.

    • Joanna Powell Colbert Wed - Jul 16th 2014 6:40 am

      Sanshin, thank you for your blessings — so much appreciated!

  • Otter Wed - Jul 16th 2014 5:17 am

    What a lovely, magical place! So happy for you, Joanna!

    • Joanna Powell Colbert Wed - Jul 16th 2014 6:40 am

      Love & Blessings to you, Otter, thank you so much!

  • Maurie Wed - Jul 16th 2014 8:18 pm

    I can feel the deep gratitude and joy from your words, Joanna. Blessings on your homecoming!

    • Joanna Powell Colbert Thu - Jul 17th 2014 6:59 am

      Thank you Maurie!

  • Craig Olson Thu - Jul 17th 2014 10:55 pm

    It’s all happening, honey! I’m so happy and I feel so grateful! To quote one of my heroes, theoretical physicist Richard Feynman: “It’s all really there. It’s all really, really there. The inconceivable nature, of nature.” Full heart, (full plate!) filled with gratitude for you and our journey together. I’m a lucky dog! Mwah!!

    • Joanna Powell Colbert Fri - Jul 18th 2014 6:40 am

      Love you too babe!!!