I just missed watching the pilot board our ship to guide it through the Inside Passage into Vancouver’s harbor Saturday evening, but I did watch such a transfer several years ago in the Baltic Sea. A small cruiser pulls up next to an ocean liner, adjusting its speed to maintain position alongside. The ship’s crew drops a hanging ladder over the side. The pilot grabs the ladder and climbs twenty or thirty feet up to a small portal in the side of the ship. Aside from requiring considerable strength and agility to climb the ladder, this is a relatively simple challenge on smooth water, but life threatening when waves toss both boats around, changing their relative levels, and causing the ladder to swing. Leaving the ship after guiding it out of the harbor may be even more perilous.

Today, as I shift from travel mode to daily life, I feel like one of those pilots, going from one treadmill to another, both moving, and not quite aligned. Few trip experiences related to Girlhood, and it’s going to take a little time to reprime that story pump and get the thread moving again.

The one thing I did notice as we hiked through Victoria’s Stanley Park was the deep feeling of peace and reverence I remember from time in My Canyon. Coastal forests in the northwest are far different from those in the Rocky Mountains, but both evoke a sense of mystical awe that I find largely missing in totally deciduous forests. What is there about towering evergreens? Hope? Stability?

I’ll let that question gently guide me back into the story stream.