Photo courtesy of Molly Roberts

There is something sacred about how this community has responded to the recent torrential rains which brought significant road damage and flooding.  When folks woke up on Monday, they realized the road just past Doe Bay Resort had washed away, as had the foot bridge that spanned the now roaring creek on the resort property.  Working together with skill and wisdom, the Doe Bay community rallied and constructed a foot bridge in record time, and the creek was spanned by Tuesday night.

What we witnessed this week is a lesson in resilience.  Doe Bay is a strong community because they have been practicing good neighborliness for decades, building up their social capital. .  They have worked together to build the Doe Bay Community Hall. They have marched in decades of 4th of July parade. They have eaten hundreds of pot luck meals together.  They know each other, and they look out for each other so that when a crisis happens, they know who to turn to.  In this case it was Tim Simonian for design and construction skills, Andrew Stephens for milled lumber and spans, and Thomas Leonard to make the long pins needed to keep it all together. Then there was the work of a multitude of other community members who schlepped, pounded, watched, and provided moral support.

Being a functioning community takes practice and an investment of time and soul.  It means carrying on the good works of those who came before—Robin Di Georgio, Joe and Thurman Bond, Marjorie and Bob Cooper, Rick Anda, Clara Abrahamson, and so many more. They set the tone, and it is now up to us to sing it forward.

Thanks to the generosity of the entire Orcas community. OICF has funding available through the Community Emergency Response Fund (CERF), and we were able to offer reimbursement for supplies and labor needed for construction.  In keeping with the spirit of the Doe Bay community, no funding requests have been made, and I suspect we may not see any, as those folks like to contribute their time, talent, and treasure to the common good.

I am so grateful to Sandy Playa and the Island Rides team for being ready and willing to ‘go the extra mile’ and provide transportation for all who need it.  This is another effort that is being funded through CERF.

We have learned a great deal about community and resilience from recent emergencies.  One thing I know for sure, when things get tough, I am so grateful to call Orcas home.  There is no place on earth that has better neighbors.

Have a lovely weekend.