So how does this blogging from West Coast Canada work? Should I be wearing sandals and sipping on a Starbucks as I write this post from my balcony with a spectacular view of Victoria’s famed inner habour?
Well, I will pass on the sandals, since I am not a big fan of my feet and Starbucks will never supersede a good Tim’s or even Country Style java brew but there is no way I pass up this view. With that now established, I now begin my two week Victoria adventure of fun and work.
This is my third time on the island and Vancouver Island has always ranked just behind Montreal as one of my favourite places in Canada. Why do I love it so? May be because it is about as far west as you can go in Canada. Also, it could be the fact as the Pacific Ocean laps up against this island’s western lip it is does the same thing miles and nautical miles away to Asian shores as well.
There is a magic for me on this island and it personally centres on Cathedral Grove. Have you ever had that travelling experience in which everything you see, smell, hear and feel transcends the spot you are standing in? A moment in which you technically know where you are but it feels like you are far away?
When I first stood and walked around Cathedral Grove, a temperate old growth rainforest here on the island, I had that moment. The light was right, the wind felt like the forest’s breath and the various hues of green felt like a watercolour painting dancing and swaying before me.
As I touched and walked among monstrous trees, both standing and toppled, I felt like I was home, even though it technically is Toronto. What the forest felt like to me that day is that it was my personal touchstone to belonging on this planet.
Now, six years after that first meeting I do not expect to be as overwhelmed as I was back then. The forest is threatened by development, so it could be like visiting an old ill friend. The best I can hope for is that it will envelope me once again and feel familiar, just like when you take a few steps into your childhood home.