Three witches went to Mayne Island; one red-haired, one blond and one raven. We drove across the ocean towards the dock with the night and the waxing moon to the left and the day with the setting sun to the right – facing each other like two halves of a sphere. The ship navigated the moonlit sea and selkies led us to the small island. We bathed in the moonlight and revelled in the cool evening wind until we safely reached the harbour. We drove through the dark to the small cabin on a bluff overlooking the sea out to Pender Island where we’d be staying for the next few days. I fell asleep with moonlight and the cries of an owl in the forest.
We saw cob houses hiding in the forests like they’d come out of a fairytale. We saw a gypsy caravan for sale crafted completely of divine-smelling wood. We saw an impressively antlered stag run into a graveyard by an old church, black snakes slither under the leaves of wormwood by the cliffs, an otter play by the shore (watched closely be a hawk and an eagle), and saw and heard ravens wherever we went.
We three witches went to the bay and walked along its driftwood shore with old arbutus trees towering above us until we came to a forest clearing of tall grasses and lay in the hot sun, covered in grasshoppers and surrounded by cicada song. When we went back to the water to cool down I felt the urge to walk in at a certain spot and lifted my skirts and walked into the sea up to my shins. I looked down and by my foot was the rib bone of a seal.
We went to visit the island’s tiny lighthouse and I climbed the pitted stone beach, marked by the tides, and found a heron feather. There was rosemary and lavender growing nearby, covered in honey and bumble bees, so we sneakily harvested some for a little guerilla cooking that night. We picked up some freshly made bread and a blueberry pie from the bakery and chicken legs from the shop and when we arrived back to the cabin I set to work making a marinade for the chicken which I later barbecued – it was amazing.
4 whole chicken legs
rind/zest of 2 lemons, chopped or grated
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped
1 handful fresh lavender blossoms, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
After the chicken marinated for a couple of hours I lit the bbq, set it to an even low-medium heat, and rubbed the meat with a little bacon grease and grilled it until it was browned crispy deliciousness. We ate it with a quinoa salad and the olive bread. Three words: om nom nom. To drink, we made dark and stormies in keeping with the island theme: fresh ginger-infused dark rum with ginger beer and lime. Also om nom nom.
We lit a fire in the hearth, we ate, we drank, we relaxed. During the day the red witch and I sat on the deck in the sun and talked about love and magic. At night I lay on the deck in the moonlight with the blond witch and we stared up at the stars and marvelled at the universe. The owner of a local hippie shop told us the best beach for skinny dipping and off we went. It was large stones carved out by the tide, wild and covered in barnacles and mussels. The water was freezing cold. The other ladies didn’t want to go in, but I wanted to bathe in a wild part of the sea to cleanse and feed my siren soul. In I jumped and cried out at Rán‘s icy touch upon my skin.
We went to a more tamed beach later and walk slowly into the cold water. The red witch had promised Aphrodite she would cleanse herself and swim in the sea. In we went up to our knees, our hips, our ribs. So very cold. We dipped our breasts in the water, then our faces, laughing and praying to the goddess of love birthed from the sea.
I had so much fun getting in mischief with the ladies, cooking for each other, drinking home brewed rose petal mead, and talking of magic, life, love, festivals while listening to music by the fire. It was the perfect get away and perfect remedy for our busy lives – just to stop for a few days and do nothing but what brought us pleasure. We were sad to have to leave and so stayed as long as we could taking one of the last ferries home. We all hope to return soon, we three witches.