Salt Spring Island

Hello, I hope you are well.  G and I have been on Salt Spring Island for almost two weeks now and I’d like to  tell you a bit of what we’ve been doing.  When we arrived on Tuesday we met our hosts and some of the family, of whom there are eight in total plus two dogs, a cat, a rabbit, a horse and now 11 chickens.  We were shown our quarters, a yurt on the edge of the forest, asked about our work and dietary preferences, and left to get settled.  A short while later we were “put to work to earn our dinner,” Georgia shoveling out the horse paddock and I helping the husband and his two twenty-something sons hand carry two 18 ft long red cedar trunks up a hill for approximately 400 meters in order to place them in some holes at the entrance to the driveway for a future gate.  On Wednesday G and I set about filling up the holes for the aforementioned tree trunks and digging an 18 inch deep trench for some power cables for their new 4 ft deep, 24 ft diameter above ground pool.  We finished filling in the two holes in 3 hours.  The soil here is filled with large rocks, making digging quite laborious.  The trench proved to be quite a task, roots, rocks and hard, dry dirt.  Rather than using a shovel, we used pick axes to break and scoop the dirt and rocks.  It took the better part of three days, working 5 hours a day to complete the task, partly because we had to wait for the husband to tow the boat out of the way as the path of the trench needed to go directly underneath.  When we weren’t able to work on the trench, Georgia weeded the garden and I chopped maple firewood.  When I finished the chopping, I helped in the garden until they finally moved the boat.  Once the boat was moved Georgia started burying the cables while I finished digging the trench, then we both finished burying the cables and voila, it was completed.  It was the longest stretch of serious manual labour I had done up to that point in my life.  That was last week.  This week we dug a ditch 3 feet deep, 3 feet wide and 15 feet long to fill in with rocks in order to keep the winter creek from flooding their future garden space.  I also placed two posts for the future garden fence, and G and I helped put up an “electric” fence to attempt to keep their horse from getting out of his paddock on a regular basis.  We let the horse out for a few hours each day to graze on the grass and it is amazing.  He eats for at least five hours straight without ever lifting his head!  And then he wants more.  We are leaving here for Mayne Island on Monday and we are very excited.  Things are going very well and we are enjoying our time immensely.  More to come soon, thanks for reading.

the intensity of my life intensifies me

I’m out on the road with G.  We gave up our apartment in VanCity at the end of April and stayed with friends for May.  It was the first time we e had roommates since being together for almost 5 years and although I really enjoy having my own space, it was good to hang out and get to know JJ better.  On June 6 we headed to Vic to stay with friends before heading to Quadra Island where we are now.  At the end of May I left my job at the dive shop after a little over two years of working there.  It was a great experience where I learned a lot about diving, became a better diver and got much more comfortable dealing with the public.  At one time I had pursued purchasing the shop, which the owner was not prepared to do, and instead suggested we open a shop in North Van as partners.  I have made quite a few major life decisions thus far, but none caused me more turmoil than this one.  As with all things, the answer became clear and I decided NOT to pursue this avenue.  The clarity came while G and I were on a road trip through WA, OR, CA and AZ during February to ‘escape’ the olympics.  As we traveled along moving from place to place I realized, as did G, that a life of adventure is what inspires us.  Let me say here that calling it a “life of adventure” does not do justice to expressing the true meaning of my realization, but it will suffice for now.

With that in mind, I was once a school teacher.  It was my chosen profession because I pursue personal growth and helping others with their own appeals to me, but also because my mom was a school teacher and of my parents, at the time, she was the one I ‘chose’ to emulate.  My dad was a middle management internal auditor who did not enjoy his work and due to the merging of corporations was often looking for new jobs during the 1980’s and 1990’s.  Point being, my mom enjoyed her work, my dad did not.  With this as my model, and a genuine lack of creativity pertaining to making money, I chose to be a school teacher.  In university I studied Philosophy.  If you went to college or university you are probably thinking now that you once took a philosophy class….  Well, I once took a genetics class.  In school I had planned to get a PhD, teach philosophy and be an academic, doing academic things.  As I’m sure we’re all aware by now, Life has plans of its own.  In 1998 life taught me a lesson by shattering me into innumerable pieces.  I have spent the last twelve years trying to put those pieces back together into someone “better, faster, stronger” than I was before.  I say this in fun, but truly I strive at all times to become the very best of myself, while at the same time attempting to separate from my self and constantly to live at peace in the beautiful unity.

Knowing this I get back to the here & now and the adventure G and I are on.  As she has just graduated from UBC with a degree in Geography, we are now free to follow our passions and have set out to discover the very best in ourselves and each other. Our first stop is on Quadra Island where we are sharing our lives with a beautiful family called the Schevers.  John, Sehleeah, Lucia (5) and Mariska (3) have made us feel so welcome and I hope we continue to have a friendship with them throughout the years. We have been trading room and board for helping them out around the house and garden.  It has been wonderful so far and I am so thankful to be out of the city and in to a beautiful place with a quieter, more peaceful pace of life. We have our own cabin, sharing the kitchen and the shower in the main house with the family.  We come and go as we please and feel like we are apart of the family.  From here we travel to Salt Spring Island on June 22 for more life experience.  We’re back n VanCity for a few days July 13.  I hope you’ll be around so we can share time together.  Aloha, Kyle

Please note this is my first ever blog.  Perhaps I will begin to refine them along the path.