Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Dining "out"...

We decided to go "out" for dinner last night. So, where to go? Ah yes, there's a nice little place about 45 minutes from home!

Parking (mooring) is never a problem, great waterfront location - right on the beach with unbelievable views: your choice, ocean or forest view. Seating is always available with "window" seats guaranteed. Service is never an issue and prices are extremely reasonable. "Furnishings" are simple and complement the natural environment - bleached logs on the water's edge, situated beneath a grove of exotic arbutus trees and gnarley Garry Oaks. It's an ideal place to dine out on those special occasions, or for that matter, any old time. Oh and in addition, it's a "calorie neutral" dining experience - honest! No matter what you eat, you will "burn" it off paddling there and paddling home again! Now that's hard to beat!

The menu was simple but nourishing, tasty and well presented: hearty brown rice garnished with strips of homemade tofu - perfectly seasoned and cooked and simmered in a single pot. No dessert was necessary. The only "dishes" to wash - two bowls, two spoons, and one pot. Ahh, the simplicity of it all.

How we sometimes forget (at least I do), that life's experiences can be so much richer when we simplify things. Isn't that what fond memories of the "old days" are all about? They were undoubtedly simpler days. In this case, there wasn't much that could go wrong - no arduous preparations, no complicated timing of courses, no great mess to clean up. We could enjoy and savour the meal while, at the same time, fully taking in the sights, smells, and sounds of this beautiful, isolated, pebble-beach-by-the-channel venue.

An example of the advantages of simplicity comes to mind. Several years ago, largely thanks to the generosity of a friend in the travel industry, we spent some time in the Middle East. It was a complicated time to go and there was a lot that could have gone wrong. We knew we needed to simplify where we could. One of the best decisions we made was to travel only with one piece of hand luggage each. It seemed an impossible goal at first but it was "simply" amazing that we could each take essential items of clothing and assorted gear in a small pack each. It did take some "creative" packing and the decision not to buy anything that would require us to find additional space in order to transport items home. The result: connections, customs, and security checks were a breeze - we were first in and first out with few questions asked.

For years, my generation has been advised to simplify our lives - simply so that there is sufficient time and energy for what really matters. What really mattered on on the beach last night was to be together, to be fully aware of the natural beauty around us, to enjoy and savour a wholesome meal, and to return home with a sense that, for at least a little while, life had been lived in the moment. I think that happened.



  1. Sounds wonderful! Yes if we could all live life in a simpler fashion the world would be a better place. We have so much that we really don't need and all it does is cause us great stress.

  2. It sure isn't always easy though!