|February Writing Retreat - A few of my favourite things|
In February I joined four other women from our writing group for a weekend writing retreat at the Backeddy Resort in Egmont, BC. Even though I was feeling very under the weather, I loved every moment of that weekend. Here is the story that I wrote on Sunday morning just before we left. ~ Kathy
Life feels simple here. Away from the responsibilities of home and career, it's all about me. I wake without an alarm or an agenda. I sit on this bed with pillows at my back, looking out the window at the marina and ocean. I hear the gulls, the geese and a lone crow, while across the channel, the morning mist has come down to the waters edge. Today we pack to go home. Well, I'm already packed.
I am my father's daughter in many ways but not in stature. Where he is tall and solid, I am short, chubby and strong like those on my mother's side of the family. But oh my word, while you may not immediately peg us as father and daughter by our looks, when it comes to travel I am just like my dad.
We had to take a ferry to get here this weekend and even though I had a reservation, I found myself at the ferry terminal 90 minutes before the ferry was scheduled to sail; just like my dad. "We don't want to miss the ferry", was the echo of his voice in my head. And I was quite content to just sit there and wait with my music, book, tea and travel snack all within a comfortable arms reach. I don't remember my dad traveling with music, book, tea and travel snack at the ready so I'll just name that as my contribution to the family's evolution.
I also come equipped with the "we need to get there" program running quite efficiently in my DNA. This drives me to get to my destination without stop or deviation from plan. You want to stop and check out that cute little shop by the side of the road? Yeah, you should really travel with my friends in the car behind me. You want to see the trees pass by in a blur? I'm your girl.
This trip was going to be different though. I made the choice to stop to pick up some fruit, yogurt and milk after we got off the ferry. Yup, I like to live on the wild side.
My traveling companions all stuffed into the car behind me decided that they would stop too. I came out of the store with items in hand to a message saying that this wasn't the shop that they had in mind, that it was the next one up the highway. Oh well, I had what I needed and with the "we need to get there" program kicking into high gear, up the highway I went. As I came to the community where they had stopped, and I blame my mother's lineage for this, I had the thought that perhaps I should just swing off and see if their car was still in the parking lot.
They were just getting out of the car.
Somehow I had managed to get off the ferry, get into the store that they saw me turn off the highway for, purchase my items, respond to their message and get back on the highway and into the next community at roughly the same time. All without fracturing the speed laws too seriously in the process, I swear! "Ferry traffic", I muttered to myself as I looked for a place to park. "They must have got caught up in the ferry traffic." Umm, nice try Kath.
In a shocking display of supportive behaviour, I actually got out of the car and joined them in their shopping expedition. Well support and the fact that this was an opportunity to pick up the peanut butter that, in my rush to get back on the road, I forgot to pick up from the previous store. I was going all out in the relaxed travel companion department this trip! Until we returned to the cars; then it was "game on" as I made a beeline out of the parking lot and up the highway.
It was a lovely drive up; it really was. The roads were dry and I love the way that the car handles on the twisty sections of the highway. The drive itself was half the fun of the trip.
|First light ~ The Backeddy Resort, Egmont BC|
I share the joy of the outdoors and the ocean with my father and I have thought of him at various times throughout this weekend as I simply enjoyed being here. It rained a drenching, west coast rain most of the day yesterday and I didn't venture out with my camera, which is also a father-daughter shared love. Yesterday though, I was mostly just me and I was enjoying the rustic beauty of this marine community on my own terms. I was roughing it this weekend. Me and the Keurig.
I confess. I am a tea snob. A high quality, china cup, loose-leaf, roiboos-loving tea snob. But this weekend I was getting back to nature. Getting back in touch with my roots. Living on the edge. Making tea in a Keurig machine.
This morning, well, this morning was a different matter. I was back into the paternal travel DNA mode. Up before the birds, my mind was already turning to the journey home but I became aware of something new emerging. A choice; a yes/and moment. Yes, I can take the time that I need to get my belongings organized and ready to go so that I'm not feeling rushed at the last minute AND I can relax and enjoy the remainder of my morning here.
I don't have to rush out and pack the car in the dark before anyone else is even awake? This might take some getting used to.
Instead I met a new little friend named Olive while taking pictures as it was beginning to get light out. I chatted with Olive's human companion who had just come from the kitchen with a mug of steaming hot coffee as she prepared for her day of tree planting. I compared weather notes with someone walking up from the dock. I had a few hours to write and record my thoughts as they danced through my mind. I was able to just stare out the window at the vista before me and daydream of a life where I could be here any time I wanted to be. And I will share in the laughter and conversation between very dear friends over a leisurely breakfast before we set out on our drive home.
Know that you have taught your daughter well, Dad. She will be heading down that highway to the ferry soon and while the trees will likely still pass by in a blur, she will do so with the awareness that the trees are there and that they witness her passing by in their majestic beauty and stillness. She is still your daughter but she is adding her stamp to this life.