Thursday, November 7, 2013
Wow. A lot has happened since I posted here. The biggest change is that I have moved to live on the Sunshine Coast of BC (Canada).
Living in the city was not my first choice but circumstances conspired to land me in one for the last several years. I always sought to find a more rural place to live, but had put that thought on the back burner for a while. I had contented myself most recently with a Balcony Permaculture Food Forest.
I had even assured my boss at the running apparel store where I worked part time that I would not be moving to the Sunshine Coast any time soon -- I had apprised him of my desire to do so when he became the new manager of my store this summer-- and that I would be available to teach the next 10-week running clinic to a goal of 5 km.
So, he went off to enjoy a European holiday and suddenly I was given the opportunity to move to a peaceful suburban home in the small Sunshine Coast community of Gibsons, BC. Of course, at first, I dithered. But after I talked it over with my wise and lovely Youngest Daughter, I realized that the only fear I had about the move was the process of moving itself -- a temporary pain!
As it happened, I thought to at least finish what I had started at the store -- a ten-week commitment -- thinking I'd commute to the city and couch surf as necessary, but a replacement instructor for the running clinic stepped up. Nevertheless, I had to endure the manager's teasing that I should be a politician.
So here I am.
There is almost zero (ZERO!!) traffic noise. There are no 2 am drunken brawls spilling, cursing and screaming, onto the street from the pub across the street, no motorcycles revving up to explosive decibel levels at odd hours for no comprehensible reason. The nights are almost totally dark with very little light pollution. I can see stars at night.
I share the house with a sensitive and caring artist and three cats. Our landlords are awesome. I have huge spaces in which to garden. And I am within minutes walking distance to beaches, forests and hiking trails of the wildest kind!
In fact, I am so close to the wilds that again, I am uneasy because of the presence of a bear that regularly includes our yard on his Checking for Yummy Garbage Route. A hand-written note posted at the marina the other day warned of cougar sightings right in town. I have seen deer browsing on the acorns of an oak tree behind our house, and a pair of crows can sound like a murder arguing crow-politics at the crack of dawn!
Even the weather conspired with my move, the winter rains holding off for weeks. The winter rains have started now, but never mind. Even the distractions are pleasant, my views of Mount Elphinstone in one direction and glimpses of the Strait of Georgia in the other. The view is constantly changing, whether it's the quality of the light, the shadows and clouds, or the mists marching upwards in diaphanous curtains from the sea. I'm never bored.
Somewhere close by in some back yard, I can hear chickens clucking in the late afternoon when it's sunny and the kids are getting home from school.
When I go out for a walk on the beach, as I do at least once a day, I am quite likely to see a blue heron, gulls, a bald eagle or a river otter and many sea birds I can't yet identify with confidence. The shells and pebbles on the beach lure me to bring more of them home. My glasses are always clouded these days by salt spray and mist.
I sat for hours one sunny afternoon a few days ago at the little beach closest to my house at the end of our road. It looks across the Strait of Georgia towards Vancouver Island in the distance. A man and his dog came down to the beach. With a sureness of gait I haven't been able to master at all, the man and dog strode across the rocks towards the point, and as the man passed me he said,
"It's affirming, isn't it...."
"Pardon," I asked, "what's affirming?"
"All the choices that led to now...to being here."
And then he and the dog disappeared behind the rocks of the cliff, startling up a flock of gulls that had been sunning themselves there out of sight. The gulls wheeled over the water, screeching in protest, but without much energy to keep it up for long. The sun was going down fast and as soon as it dipped behind the hill, the quickly dropping temperature sent me reluctantly home.
And yes, YES! It is affirming! I am grateful, so grateful for this, here. now!