Love Letter to the Island
Letter to the Island

Love Letter to the Island

The Loop invites Islanders to share what they appreciate about Vashon-Maury Island and Island life. Send your letter to

By Jane Valencia

Dear Island,

That morning I said yes to writing you, I had some doubts. You’ve changed so much in recent years. Did your magic still exist?

Then I recalled what I love about you. Every walk into town, along trails, every ride on the ferry, or trip to a store or the post office, is an opportunity for wonder and connection. All you require of me is to be open-hearted and curious: What will happen when I step outside today?

And so I set out to the North End ferry to meet my mom who was arriving for a visit.

I realized Mom had never visited the Wild Mermaid or its chapel, so instead of heading home, we crossed the ferry lanes. There we picked up amazing pastries and a quintessential Island tale (ask about the chapel), shared good Island talk, and enjoyed the kindness of strangers: Another visitor not only offered to take our photos, but made sure they came out just right.

In town, I spotted a friend through the VALISE Gallery window. Of course, my mom and I went in to say hello – Sharon had taught creative writing to my older daughter and some other youth, back in our homeschooling days. After catching up on life, Mom and I took in the art show. The VALISE artists had created playful, vibrant art on O Sole Mio pizza boxes, using the photo of the half-naked young man (Mario) as the starting point. Donations for the show benefit the Vashon Food Bank. I learned from Sharon about the VALISE Artist Collective, their support of one another, and more. Ideas for a future Loop article bloomed like a daffodil.

In Thriftway, we ran into co-editor, March, and learned that the Vashon Pharmacy is working with Bettie, the former owner of the hugely beloved “The Little House” in creating a candy section. What!? The Pharmacy and The Little House had been favorite places for my kids and others in times past. And now a fusion of those delights was in motion!

I could continue on with tales of conversation and discoveries from that afternoon, and new ideas and plans that arose from these chance encounters, but this love letter would be way too long. Dear Island, here’s what I love about you. When I open my heart to your magic, you always meet me.

May 8, 2023

About Author

jane Jane writes about what it means to be an Islander, and how we can nourish healthy community. A harper, storyteller, and herbalist, she also shares tales and art that she is sure the Island told her. Having lived with her family on Vashon for 20+ years, she is convinced of the Island's magic.