Today I picked up a book that lay on the table. It is called Women Who Run With Wolves and is written by Clarissa Pinkola Estés. It contains myths and stories of the Wild Women Archetype. Suddenly I remember something a man on San Juan Island said to me. “Miwa… Miwa… doesn’t that mean wild woman is Swahili?” I laugh and tell him maybe, but that I only know it to mean harmony and beauty in Japanese. I had never thought of myself as a wild woman, but maybe I am.
Mark tells me about the free store and the library on the island. The library is where this book comes from. Both are totally open access: you can go in and drop off whatever you want and you can take whatever you want. There are no late fees or fees at all for that matter. The amazing thing is that, rather then slowly being depleted, both the library and the free store have a constant excess. One of Mark’s volunteer jobs on the island is to take books that aren’t getting much use back to the mainland in order to make room for more books. He takes about three boxes each month. “The world is full of abundance,” he says. “It is just a matter of finding it and redistributing it.”
You could almost say that this island is an experiment in anarchy. There are no police on the island, there is no building inspector, and there is no hospital. There is one ambulance and because of Canada’s healthcare system anyone who is seriously injured is airlifted out by helicopter at no fee to them.
Some on the island are finding life gets a bit harder as they get older, but the community has come together to find a solution. Soon there will be a centrally located place where people can go if they can no longer take care of themselves and the community will take care of them.