This week I have opted to enjoy my front yard while I reflect on last weeks hump day. I have not spent a Wednesday in Victoria for a few months now and there are very few words to share the joy of being in one’s own home, at least for me. As much as the clouds are out, the sun is working hard to brighten the moods of local Victorians, and the rain has learnt to come out once everyone is in for the night. So, why not take advantage of my front yard!
I decided to pop by one of my favourite cafés in Victoria BC today to do my writing. It is less than a ten minute walk from my apartment and it yields one of the greatest views in the city.
The vantage point of sitting at a cafe that I am not only familiar with but also comfortable in is that I can spend the time reflecting on past experiences versus being absorbed in the present. I am attempting to slow down, to be more intentional, and to focus on the present. In order to do this I feel this as though I need to catch up to myself. To flip through the hundreds of pictures I have taken over the past few weeks and share some of those moments with you. I will not keep you waiting any longer.
Last Wednesday I ventured to Steveston Village just outside of Vancouver city centre, well maybe a little further than just outside. I went on a recommendation to check out a bookstore and coffee shop after telling some of my students that I think it would be really fun to work at a joint bookstore and coffee shop that was locally owned (I do not drink coffee but I am sure I could pour it), something more family oriented than a Chapters Indigo and Starbucks mix. Driving to Steveston Village from Coquitlam was not exciting, it was mostly highway driving but once arriving I felt like I drove into this little town beyond the big city of Vancouver, almost like I ventured out for a mini vacation.
After wandering in the harbour, or I think it is the actual Steveston Village, I wandered the streets on the outskirts until coming up to the bookshop I had originally ventured out for.
Village Books is fairly small, it is packed of books and houses a few tables in close quarters. They offer 49th Parallel coffee and baked goods from various local shops. If the space was a little larger and open slightly past 17:00 it may have been the perfect last stop for my time in Steveston Village. With a friend coming to join my adventure for the evening I moved to one of the eateries in the harbour to end the day. Dinner along the water, just like today’s writing along the ocean, really cannot go wrong. As much as the food was mediocre, the company and view made up for it. I will have to go back to capture a few pictures, by this time the sun was setting and my fingers were much to cold to be outside of my pockets.
Hump day extended past Wednesday last week. I have a few things left on my “want to see in and around Vancouver” list, one of which was Golden Ears Provincial Park. Thursday morning I woke to sun that the weather forecasters said would last for only a day longer. I had mass amounts of writing to do with little motivation to do, so before having to head to campus to teach an evening class, I decided to make a short trip to Golden Ear Park, and boy am I glad I did! If you have only have only half a day in and around Vancouver and want to see beach, mountains, water, and go on fairly easy and short hikes/walks, this is the park to visit.
The first turnoff I took was to Mike Lake. I was not sure what to expect but like most adventures thus far, I was not disappointed. Mike Lake reminded me of Dead Man’s Flat, a spot my father used to take my brother and I fishing while my mother prepared the picnic table with masala potatoes, chips, vegetable rice, and various other snacks she packed before the rest of us had brushed our teeth. I remember our fishing trips clearly with my snoopy fishing rod, which I am almost positive was my brothers but I likely cried that I wanted it so like everything else I wanted my brother gave it to me. (Bhaa, if I have not yet said thank you for everything you have and continue to give me…THANK YOU!) He must regret giving me his fishing rod as I often caught a fish within the first few minutes of our trips while he waited hours, days, and years to catch one (I secretly feel for him but also think it is fairly funny). After I caught a fish and my father and brother helped me reel the little guy in, I would retire to wandering around Dead Man’s Flat lake with my Mum and then sitting and pretending to read in my designated folding chair, which was likely the chair my brother had claimed but I wanted, because he wanted it. Yes, I was that child…wait, I still am that child! But let me not tangent for too long.
The adventure in me was not quite satisfied after Mike Lake, mostly because I craved more. Instead of turning right at the main road to head back towards campus I turned left. From the signage and my very brief look at a map I knew there was more. Driving a few minutes took me to a view that seized me from the road. Without question I turned off into the large parking lot and knew I hit a highly populated summer spot by the quantity of parking stalls and picnic benches surrounding the beach of Golden Ear Provincial Park. Thankfully my visit to the park was not so populated and allowed me to wander with little noise and the sun shining on my back. If only the wind did not join me I may have got lost in a book and forgotten about the class I was to teach a few hours later.
You have reached the end, the end of last weeks adventures. Mostly calm, relaxing, inspirational, and outdoors, as per usual. Mixed in with a little studying, a lot of marking, and much reflection, it made for a perfect week to end the Winter season and prepare for Spring, here in beautiful British Columbia.
But before I let you go, let me share with you what I shared with all of my students, what I realized throughout all of my adventures and while I am in discussion with some of the most inspiring soon to be Therapeutic Recreation Practitioners I have engaged with in years. Intentionality changes everything. When we are intentional we are strongly encouraged to stop, to process, and to move forward with perspective and vision. Being intentional can keep us positive, ensure we are acting in the best interest of others and ourselves, and provides a guidance in our actions that requires us to be accountable. Each step while you hike has to be thought out so that you do not slip or negatively impact the ground you are walking on. When you desire to go out in the sun you are hopefully doing it to enjoy yourself in the moment, to make connection(s), and to take a pause from your daily responsibilities. Reading, writing, drawing, photography or any other hobby you engage in likely has an intention with the outcome being enjoyment, excitement, relaxation, and so on and so forth.
If there is one lesson I have learnt and hopefully taught this past semester, it is to live with intention, to slow down and process the happenings and doings of your life, and to spend the time reflecting on your intentions. A big task with great power; I believe intentionality will help you move from a state of health to healthy!
Officially the end!