It was only minutes before they were passing over the crinkled blue of the Bristol Channel, and almost at once Combe Island lay beneath them, as unexpectedly as if it had risen from the waves, multicoloured and as sharply defined as a coloured photograph, its silver granite cliffs towering from the white boiling of foam. Dalgliesh reflected that it was impossible to view an offshore island from the air without a quickening of spirit. Bathed in autumnal sunshine there stretched a sea-estranged other world, deceptively calm but rekindling boyhood memories of fictional mystery, excitement and danger. Every island to a child is a treasure island. Even to an adult mind Combe, like every small island, sent out a paradoxical message: the contrast between its calm isolation and the latent power of the sea, which both protected and threatened its self-contained alluring peace.

-from “The Lighthouse” by P.D. James

I moved to my Island in the Salish Sea sixteen years ago, and when I read this last week I understood why….

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