Saturday, September 28, 2013

When a quiet sense of "connection" tugs at the heart...

Fond memories of Gabriola's sandstone shores, 
with the Entrance Island light house beyond.
Although there's been some good paddling and trail time recently, there hasn't been any blogging at all this past month. (I certainly hope someone has noticed. Haha!) It's just been kind of busy.

A couple of weeks ago, the time came to bid a fond farewell to the little cabin, overlooking the Salish Sea. For almost six years, it provided a base for sea kayaking on the waters, running and hiking on the trails, and getting to know the warm, eclectic and fascinating people who make their home on Gabriola Island. The cabin was a place to go and find (and practice) simplicity. Having both grown up in a large city, who would have known how much we would come to appreciate a water well, a wood stove, and a septic system! In many ways, these three "infrastructure" elements represented freedom, and a small measure of self-sufficiency.

Of course leaving the cabin meant moving, and finding homes for the surprising number of things that fit into 600 square feet. So, life has been...hectic.

Gabriola Island is just one place on this country's endless list of interesting places to live in our 10 Provinces and 3 northern Territories, extending from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward to the Arctic Ocean. Canada is really quite extraordinary in its diversity - every province and territory is distinct. It's where we grew up (mostly), where we met and went to school and fell in love - while attempting to make every effort to appear studious (OK, so Joan managed to appear studious.) Canada, an outdoor paradise, is where we both discovered a passion for self-propelled activities - kayaking and time on the trails.

Autumn...when a floating maple leaf often greets the paddler.
Although "home" is on a Canadian island, near to the snow-capped mountains, and surrounded by the sea, we feel a deep fondness for a certain "other place" - the country where I was born.

The place, affectionately known by the ancient Romans as "Caledonia", is half a world away and yet, it's a world that lives and breathes within. There is a sense of strong and abiding connection.

Sometimes, it is that quiet sense of "connection" to the past that emerges and tugs at the heart, warming the soul in a very special way. And when it does, the appetite for adventure is whetted...and set free.

More to come, from Caledonia.



  1. I have felt that "quiet sense of connection", (after most of my adult life here in the West), to the East Coast. Every time we go back, it feels like "home". I feel fortunate to have that sense of being at "home" in more than one place. :>). Gen.

  2. Hi Gen, thanks for that. We were in the Maritimes earlier this year, there is certainly a special warmth there. Good to hear from you. Duncan.

  3. Hi Duncan & Joan, I'd certainly noticed that it had gone very quiet on your blog and feared that something was wrong - great to see you back!

    Caledonia is certainly half a world away, but as I think you both understand better than most, it's under the same sky.....

    Kind Regards

  4. Thank you for your kind words, Ian. There were just lots of distractions but balance will soon be restored. Connect soon. :) Duncan and Joan.

  5. Good to see you back on here. So you've moved out of the cabin? Everything into storage? Are you guys moving to Scotland or just heading back for a visit?

  6. Thanks Lee, always good to hear from you. The cabin will be loved by new folks. As for us, it must be our "vagabond" spirit. :) We'll maintain our "base camp" here on VI but keep a foot in both places. Looking forward to catching up with your postings. Duncan.