Aug 19, 2008

Canoe trip

aint nothin better in this world you know
than lying in the sun with a radio

or with my family and a dearly beloved other family, canoes pulled up on Rainbow Island, kids out on the canoes while we lay naked on the sand or plunge in for one of the fifteen daily swims in the crystal clear waters of Buttle Lake in Strathcona Provincial Park. Five days of gentle paddling or setting up tarp sails, swimming, shared meals, our Lord of the Flies kids growing to own the island, sunshine, sleep, cliffs, fish jumping everywhere but near our lines

and the most beautiful expression of love and support, our friends making a financial and spiritual and time investment into the community we're building, even if they may never make it their full time home. "We just love you and love what you're doing and want to show our support, to know that you're not alone. This is our toe-hold; we're in, whatever that means and grows to mean." Sarah cried, I breathed a huge sigh of Joyful relief and release of that feeling of vast openness, of a putt with too much green, of having jumped into a huge pre-announced Paradise that we now have to build and honour. We're not alone, and we're not crazy. We're just continuing on a journey, growing from the people and community and learnings we've gathered along the way and deepening commitments. This isn't a new path, just a few more huge steps along one we've been on for a long time, and never alone.

as always, all 3 children shone and gloried in the freedom and time and openness of a camping trip, but Galen in particular was a Joy to watch as he unfolded and blossomed. He swam for the first time, spent as much time as he could paddling - alone or with others - until he could handle a 6-person canoe on his own and take the two younger boys out on his own. Upon returning the rental canoes to the lodge, he convinced the worker to let him try a river kayak, which he quickly gained control over with no instruction. Our sometimes timid little boy gave hints of the older boy and man he can become when given space. All 3 boys showed a growing confidence in themselves and their surroundings, their Rainbow Island, and created their own adventures and worlds independent of us old folks, or drawing us in in creative ways. Is this how life will (sometimes) be on our own land, our boys owning and creating and marking their space and patterns on it?

it felt great to drive past the ferry turnoff on the way home and just keep driving down the island. Perhaps i haven't earned it yet, but i feel more and more like an Islander, like this truly is home and where we belong. Not a bit of me longs to return to "the Big Smog" (vancouver), i just want to be here and in this life. Of course i miss friends and will enjoy seeing them there and here, but the pace and energy and big skies of our new home open up to us like the lake at the mouth of the river, calling us deeper into the journey. Thanks for gunnelling up with us, friends.

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