Finally.... some rain. Fall is definitely on its way, and my spirit feels light and euphoric.
Although summer feels like a test of endurance, I did create some pretty amazing memories this time around. And I thought I should honour that with a post of my camping trip to Hornby Island this past August. My friend and I grabbed a tent and a cooler, and very little else, and took the two ferry journey to this magical place.
Hornby is a small island just off the coast of Vancouver Island, and it's where the hippies and creative souls reside. There is a charming little 'downtown' in the centre of the island... a hub where you can find a little organic cafe, a pottery shop, a natural clothing store and a place to satisfy your cravings, whether it be coffee or ice cream. But what I love most about Hornby is how you feel as though you've left everything behind... all that troubles the world... and arrived on an entirely new planet. It feels like such a safe place. It's where I would want to be if the rest of the planet goes down for the count. Many people here live off the grid, and they take care of each other. And they won't truly respect you until you've spent at least one winter here.
I used to go camping with my family a lot when I was a child. All summer, every summer. And it struck me, as we set up our tent and respectfully observed our neighbours, how when you are camping, it's as though time has stopped. People live simply. They connect with one another around camp fires, and sleep in basic structures, and the kids play on their bikes... no screens or phones in sight. What a rare thing...To feel as though you haven't aged and that nothing has changed since you were a little kid racing around the potholed lanes on your own bike. It was as though I was being teased with these little moments of unexpected nostalgia.
My favourite part of our trip happened our first night. There was a meteor shower that night, and we headed to the beach just after sundown to watch the falling stars in the absence of any artificial light. I remember my first sight... it wasn't quite dark yet, and the bay was filled with drifting sailboats, and each one had a tiny light shining on the top of its mast, glowing like sea-bound stars. On the beach, between the driftwood structures, was the warm luminescence of campfire. And children were throwing these colourful little globes into the air that would shoot straight up, then fall back down again, changing colour, radiating red, blue and green light. I hardly needed the meteors... there was starlight everywhere I looked.
Now that I've been back to Hornby, I feel the itch to explore other islands nearby. I think my friend feels the same, so island hopping we will go. Next summer.