Saturday, August 06, 2016

Re-discovering treasures on life's "doorstep"...

Joan and Linda, leaving home port, at Maple Bay. 
It's been such a long time since last posting, and it's coming up two months now that we've been back at Base Camp 1 on Vancouver Island. Ah, but living in two countries always means returning to "catch up", so it's been busy here with lots and lots of chores. That, admittedly, would be just an excuse. 

The familiar profile of Mt. Maxwell, on neighbouring Salt Spring Island.
To be honest, we have not posted much because we may be guilty of undervaluing the "treasures", right on the doorstep. The seas, shores and mountains of distant lands, such as in Base Camp 2, sometimes seem so much more varied, interesting, notable, and even exotic than those close at home. In truth, there are differences, but both places are equally magical venues for self-propelled activities.

When opposing current meets paddling's "stationary paddling"!
Our good friend Ian, in a recent post at Mountain and Sea Scotland, reminds us of a very important fact. While wild camping, on the Sound of Arisaig, he pointed out that within only metres of his tent lay a banquet table of delights, worthy of careful exploration. It was a veritable (and close-at-hand) world of colour, texture, flora, ancient history, geology, and more...all against a backdrop of a stunning horizons. 

The current won out...this time.
So often, we underestimate the value, complexity, and beauty of the familiar - and the close-at-hand. We miss the  length, breadth, and depth of the "mystery of the ordinary". We sometimes forget that a journey of discovery can easily begin right from our very own doorstep. 

Ah, it was lunch time anyway. :)
A few days ago, I spent some contemplative time, amidst the tall Douglas firs and arbutus trees of the forest around our home. I've dreamed of living in a log cabin in the woods, all my life. Except for the "log" part...we've done just that, for years. Who would have known? Sometimes, a process of re-discovery and "perspective correction" is necessary. It's really very simple.

Hours of exploration one tiny cove.
The launch for a paddle down Sansum Narrows is just five minutes away from home...we take it a bit for granted. The long summer months here are warm and sunny, ninety percent of the time. The winters are mild, with the highest mean temperatures anywhere in Canada...we take this a bit for granted. High winds that could preclude paddling are rare, so it's possible almost anytime to get out on the protected Pacific waters...yup, we take that a bit for granted too.

Maple Mountain (l), and Salt Spring Island (r).
And there's something else to ponder. Sometimes, we forget that the people closest to us can also be subject to being undervalued. This was also a reminder to treasure those whose unfailing presence, love, and support is as close as the nearest heart beat...and ensure that they know they are "treasures". Such words, expressed and shared, bring profound meaning and value to those around us.

A nav-aid at Octopus Point.
It was a great day with Joan and Linda on familiar waters, with some good exercise paddling against a challenging current! It was also a re-discovery of a "treasure", on the doorstep of Base Camp 1.


  1. Yes it was a great day to be on the water and even though I didn't have the strength to beat the current I'll still treasure the experience and the great company 😃

    1. Ah Linda, the only thing that would have overcome the current was our timing...which we couldn't control on that day. And so another way to look at it is that since at one point we weren't going anywhere at all, we got to spend more time enjoying the scenery - which wasn't going anywhere either! :) Warm wishes.

  2. Good to see that you're getting out on the water - and that looks a stunning location! There's a lot to be said for the "local patch" :o)

    Warm wishes

    1. Thanks for that, Ian, it was good to be out...planning for more. :) Warm wishes to you both.

  3. Great to see and read the blog again and to see you back on and "in" the water. I just thought that you were too busy writing "The Book" and the blog was taking second place. Best wishes to you all.

  4. Ah, thanks for that Mike, the "Book" is coming...well, one day! Warm wishes from us both.