A #THRIVEinlife experience
We are totally and utterly surrounded by trees. The birds are singing, the sun is blazing down on our patio, wafting the aroma of hot, dry, cedar into the air. The early risers are content in their deck chairs with a book or a journal just taking in the moments of silence and reflection that they find in a place that can only be described as a haven. This is how my visiting friends and I start the day on a Saturday morning at my tiny mountainside home.
Living on an Island, at least a Gulf Island such as Salt Spring, is a world away for our visitors from the city. Although they grew up in smaller towns, now living in Vancouver they find their everydays are much more hustle and bustle. I can see all of them visibly relax as soon as they reach our cherished soil. I gave up my city lifestyle almost two years ago now, and even though I may miss some of the amenities the city has to offer, it is nothing compared to what I have gained by existing in the midst of a more natural landscape. Here, my soul can truly thrive.
When I am blessed with the presence of my closest friends, I can't wait to share with them everything my chosen lifestyle has become. Taking them through the forest that is our backyard, there are several exclamations of how lucky I am. I certainly don't take my little piece of paradise for granted. I am proud to point out the area where we want to have a greenhouse someday, tour the paths that we hike on, see the almost fairyland-like sunlight that filters through the evergreens. We talk about the future, where my kids will play, how we'll build an awesome treehouse for their adventures, and how excited we all will be to have their families visit and camp out in our yard. Throughout the weekend, wildlife dazzles us and we see rabbits, deer, frogs, salamanders, eagles, and all matters of other birds. And of course our cats run freely in and out of the house, harassing my guests with their playful antics.
On this particular visit, we visited our legendary Saturday Market in the morning. From one end to the other, the girls and I treated our eyes, ears, and mouths to the offerings of our humble Island merchants. We made a stop by the Thrive market booth to see co-founder Jessica for a brief hello in between her patrons. I was stopped by several old friends to reconnect and make plans to meet up in the future. We sampled food vendor wares and went home with a truffle goat cheese from Salt Spring Island cheese and a bushel of fresh veggies from local farms to accompany the locally caught spring salmon we had purchased for dinner. Our visits are often just as focused on the food as the company.
We were able to explore the North end of the Island abreast scooters that my partner has recently invested in as rentals. We spent several hours on the winding roads going past lakes, ocean, farmland, and making use of our peppy horns. It was wonderful to coast through the warm summer air and feel the cool ocean breeze, full of the unadulterated scents of seaweed, summer, and arbutus.
Sunday is met with another hot sunny morning, and we celebrate it with sunscreen and a trip to a nearby lake. The cool mountain water is an unparalleled refreshment on our sun-kissed bodies. When too many neighbours get the same idea, we retire to our front lawn, lying on blankets in the shade of the wide leafed maple and letting the heat of the afternoon wash over us. The weekends here always seem to come to a close too often, and the girls reluctantly pack their things to go. As they proclaim how much they would love to stay longer, I am grateful that my stay is indefinite and overwhelmed with how fortunate I am.
When we are together here, our time is focused in a way that it can be only when we are away from the distractions of a busy city life. There isn't the next coolest restaurant, or a big-name concert that we are worried about missing, so we can all slow down a little and make room for sharing what is truly on our minds. We have deep conversations about topics varied from politics to human rights to self-development and love. I have been told before that I am one of few people that asks my friends about the happiness of their souls, and I really do believe in making time to feed your soul what nurtures it. I am so pleased that I can offer these beautiful lights in my life an Island getaway where they can reflect in peace, connect to nature, and escape any stresses that can't follow them across the water.