Sunday, July 27, 2014

Festival time on the Island


I'm going to ramble so keep with the program.

It's been a long time since my last post. The end of April marks the beginning of tourist and festival season here on Vancouver Island.

Yoga gathering on the lawn in front of the Legislative Buildings,
at the inner harbour Victoria on a lovely June summer night.
I don't recommend yoga in jeans after an iced coffee.
Had I borrowed one of their mats I could have gotten to keep it, dang!
My mat's older than most of the other yogis there
Ah yes - festivities; people out here love to party! Victoria is a festival city. We celebrate life, food, culture and our good fortune to be able to live here. So I've resigned myself to put other work and workshop plans aside, throw up my hands and join in :-) Not too hard to do. There will be time for leading dream workshops, dream circles and shiatsu treatments when the fall/winter season hits.

GAY PRIDE PARADE - festivities were in our neighbourhood. Great: fun, food and music! We walked out our door to see the celebrants pass by on our way to the Tibetan Festival where we sampled Tibetan food, sang happy birthday to the Dali Lama, meditated and I learned a traditional dance. Then we came back to the Pride Festival for music and more fun.

Festivities and protest go hand in hand here.
We are passionate about protecting the earth.
How can you not be when natural beauty is all around you!?
A beautiful fairie!
The end of the parade heading to the fair grounds for more celebrations.
I heard tell that some of the tour carriages were saying that this is a typical day in Victoria. LOL

There's still so much to explore and re-visit. The outdoors - the forest, mountains and ocean beckons. So, ask me, "Do you want to be on the computer or outside taking in all the activity?" and there's your answer and the reason for the lack of entries.
A view of Todd Inlet from the summit of Mt Work
We go up island every 6 weeks or so to visit family. A few weeks ago we went onto the mainland for a body building championship…No, I wasn't a participant but thanks for wondering about this if only for a fleeting moment. Sorry about that; just wipe that image out of your mind right now.**

Paul's brother's tent at Vancouver Island Music Fest up island in Courtney
We sat underneath and enjoyed the music from here on one of the hottest weekends ever.
Russell deCarle, Leela Guilday, Laura Smith, Low Rider and  the Mavericks
were part of an amazing line up playing on various stages and workshop jam sessions.
Bonnie Rait, singing under the light of a super full moon on a cloudless sky,
provided me (and everyone else) with one of the most memorable evenings ever! 
Where was I? 

Living on the island is all that I expected and more. It must be possible to love a place as much as I love people or I wouldn't be out here; my family and childhood/longtime friends are all back in Ontario. Due to the distance and expense, the prospect of visitors is slim but I knew that would be the case. I knew too that our visits back to Ontario and Quebec would take place every few years.

We drove the folks to Parksville so they could take in the Sandcastle competition.
This was our favourite.
Dropped in to the Carving competition at Willows Point on our way back home
Rites of  passage for family and friends have come and gone and will continue to do so between visits: deaths, weddings, birthdays, the birth of children, and changes in general. All is happening in the background of my mind and thousands of kilometres away. My nephew's wedding is coming up on Aug 3rd. I will not be there in body but part of my spirit is with him, his bride and the "Thackerlings" daily as Graeham and Keera's special day approaches.

Buskerfest - July 17 - 27th has been a big hit. Drop in a few bucks to help them entertain us.
Yes, I ate ½ of a grilled macaroni sandwich AND perogies on Friday…
still digesting them today. But, it was sooo delicious.
One of the offerings at the, very popular, Street Food Festival
and we get to do it again next Friday - yea
Saturday at Saxe Point - a happy accidental discovery.
We were off to the Afro-Caribbean Festival
but found instead what looked like a private function without the roti stands we'd hoped to find.
So we changed plans.
Take out from TRINI TO D BONE: Veg Roti for me and Goat and Roti for Rod
+ Ting (grapefruit pop which we'd loved in Antigua) - DELICIOUS!!!
We got drawn into this park while looking for a place for our impromptu picnic.
I read how technology and social media is distancing us from each other, distracting us and stunting "real" social interaction but my experience has been other. E-mail, phone, googlephone, Face Book, Face Time and Skype are all immediate life lines connecting me to people I love and miss daily. Yes, I am meeting new friends and re-connecting with people I met from the mid '70's and '80's. And I treasure my time with Rod's family - his folks, sister and her family.

But, those old and long-time connections never loose their hold on me. How different it was my last lifetime here when I ached to hear their voices, see their faces and get news about their lives. News took days to get to me, phone calls cost the earth and letter writing wasn't a skill that everyone chose to develop. This time it's different and I'm so grateful for the technology that makes it so.

Here I am, Sheldon Cooper-style (Glynnie in the background)
at Marissa and Irene's 60th Birthday celebrations.
The Council of the Sleepover members pass me around the table to chat
reposition me for a better view of the action.
It's a surreal experience to be sure.
On Thursday, after an hour's climb, a friend and I stood at the summit of Mount Work (Mt Work Park is just a 20 minute drive from our place) breathed in deeply the scent of the woods, eavesdropped on the conversations of resident ravens and crows, gazed over the waters, mountains and forests and marvelled that we are privileged and blessed to live in a place that feeds our souls. Places and times like this remind me that I am home and that this time here is so precious. I need to see and participate in the life that is happening NOW while I'm making other plans; maybe that is what it is to let go.

Summit of Mt Work the light rain that drizzled upon us gives us a break
and a stunning view.
Many more festivals are planned, more hiking, kayaking, yoga and knitting is to be done (I took a rescue course a few weeks ago - self rescue and rescue of another….in kayaking, not knitting. Lots of fun!). The dream unfolds night by night; day by day.

** Why were we at the BC Body Building Championships you may ask? Because our nephew Jeff Messenger was competing in the heavyweight division. I'm very happy to say he placed 3rd - yea, Jeff!
(Although I think his physique and presentation was worthy of first place - an unbiased opinion.)

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