It Might Be Paradise

Have you ever, in the midst of chaos and wild emotion, wished for an alternate reality to appear before you? You could just take a step or two forward and be in a different (sweeter, more relaxed and beautiful) world?

Not only did I go there this weekend, I have returned to tell you about it!

My dear brother Rob, the brilliant electrical engineer, volleyball player and Burning Man enthusiast, recognized the stress of my current situation and invited me to Lasqueti Island, where he has just purchased a gorgeous 12 acre property. Complete with a lovely cabin, dilapidated A-frame, orchard, garden, pond, beach access, he hopes it will be his little bit of heaven. Indeed, on a warm July day, it’s hard to think of anything closer to paradise.

I stupidly forgot to recharge my camera battery, so I don’t have any pictures of his actual place. But I did mange to grab a few that help give the flavour of the island.

On the track of a high speed internet connection, we visited a little shop called Crystals and Chamomile. In addition to balancing your chakras and plying you with herbal tea, the helpful proprietress can figure out how to get a signal over the mountains and trees. Never underestimate a hobbit house!

We stopped at the Recycling Centre and Free Store. The store was neat and well stocked with clothing and other items up for grabs for whoever might need them. Since there is no garbage collection on the island, and the dump is only open on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays, people can’t just mindlessly dispose of stuff.

On to the Arts Festival at the Community Hall. There were bands playing, good food and drink, an art exhibit, and hands on art making. As a fundraiser, the Arts Council had a bunch of t-shirts from the Free Store, and for the price of a membership you could customize your shirt with stencils and stamps. Rob and I had a great time creating our souvenir shirts – so much more fun than buying something generic, made in Sri Lanka.

People on Lasqueti could probably be stereotyped as hippies, although it is apparently the most well educated postal code in Canada. There is no grid power – solar or propane is the way to go. There is no car ferry, so vehicles on the island have to be barged over, and tend to be old beaters or lovingly customized art cars.

It was delightful being there, so quiet and calm. And in a moment of serendipity Rob and I made an arrangement that I would come and tend his garden for the summer, while waiting for an apartment to become available back in Vancouver. Keiko could be in doggie nirvana, I could mellow out and recharge my batteries, and Rob would have a neatly pruned orchard and garden prepared for next year.

Thank you to all of you who left such lovely supportive comments. And Jan, I did get your card (thank you!) and will be doing a posting soon on about my experience with studio space.