A life on a Canadian west coast island becomes a reality in early 1990.
Photos, sketched house plans and maps spread across our farmhouse table in a remote hamlet of Provence, France. We are dreaming of building our home on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia.
Our dream unfolds…..and, for almost thirty years we shape our island lives by deep desire to live fully our way.
Creative pursuit in every area of life becomes a deep questing commitment. The sacrifice is financial security.
When did this purposefulness arise? What catalyst allowed it to blossom?
I trace back early remembrances dreaming of my love for our world, dancing, singing, expressing my thrill of nature and it’s landscape, people and diverse culture. I saw myself literally hugging our world.
It is the hands on, carving out, touching, holding, creating that is the thrill. We give our best to this new exciting life and purchase 10acres of raw land. We know our life is ours for the making. We begin the design then build our home. Duart teaches himself electrical, plumbing and framing. Buys a sawmill, milling some 700 year old trees felled for the beams, my studio and his shop. The first summer was bliss as the girls lived in tents, a trailer for kitchen and outhouse in the bush. Winter we House-sit for friends, then moved back to our land for the following summer. The house, studio, workshop, paddocks, barn, garden and fencing was complete in three years. Meanwhile Tara became an avid sailor, Laser racing in Ganges Harbour with her old Lab Jody. Lauren with a menagerie of sheep, pig, duck, rabbit, spent most of her waking time with Jake her Shetland pony often trekking with him on back logging trails or swimming with him at St Mary’s Lake. Clearly our daughters took our intense creative pursuit seriously!
Over the years our physical work on our many homes reminds me of our rich rich 150 year history on Salt Spring Island it’s settlers laboured and carved out lives sustained by these same raw desires we exhibited.
However it is the magic of a far older culture of original Native Northwest people’s who fished and camped its beaches and buried their dead and left petroglyphs and middens it is their whispered stories still told by the trees and rocks in quiet places that touches my core.
I look back at what we accomplished, the home we built, the houses we sold, then bought, renovated and cultivated. We loved each and journeyed over the decades about this small island finding just right our niche that would support our changing and sharpened desires. It is with wonder that I am still innately me at the core that little girl that just wanted to embrace the world with love. My husband, children, friends, family, my home, garden and my dearest little Gallery in Ganges I embrace the love of knowingness that my world is carved very deeply right here.
In my everyday conversation multiple times I express wonder in the beauty about me. The play and shape of trees against water, the shades of leaves, the playing with changing light. Sunsets, sunrises. Shapes of roads winding through valleys, up hills to view the dearest home or structure leaning just perfectly to embrace its surroundings.
It’s an simple life, clean air salt scrubbed, honed by try and try again and a do it yourself mind.
I have answered my calling daily, self examining my motivation, honesty, action, beauty and commitment. In turn it gives rise to ease in my mind that creates space for contemplation and gratitude for this one wondrous life.