Dear Dad

From the time I started this blog, back in September 2017, my most supportive readers have been my mom and dad. Each post has been greeted with enthusiasm and generated a “can’t wait till the next one” response. Their encouragement has meant a lot to me. It’s a terrific feeling when your parents tell you they’re proud of you.

When you live someplace great, you want to share it with friends and family. My mom lives in Montreal and hates flying, so I know she won’t be coming out for a visit anytime soon. But I hoped my dad would make the trip out here one day, and I had plans for a grand tour—to see those roof-dwelling goats in Coombs, stroll the scenic parks in Nanaimo, and make a pilgrimage to that fabulous bakery in Ladysmith; my description of their cinnamon buns had my dad ready to hop on a plane.

But the tour is never going to happen. My dear dad passed away in early April, after a battle with cancer.

My dad once wrote that “grieving is the bandage we keep until the healing is complete.” As I grieve for my dad, I feel extremely fortunate to be living on Vancouver Island. There’s a tranquility here that I’ve never found anywhere else. It’s helping with the healing, and it’s why I’ll continue to write about this beautiful island.

I recently found a photo of my dad sitting in a field of purple wildflowers. I’d never seen it before, and I don’t know where or when the picture was taken. That doesn’t matter. What’s wonderful about the picture is the expression on my dad’s face, one of pure bliss.

I will treasure this photo always, a picture of a man at peace.

Trek & Treat: The Nanaimo Bar Trail

In Nanaimo, beautiful areas to take a stroll and get in touch with nature abound. Neck Point Park, Westwood Lake, and Linley Valley are just a few of the many places where extensive trails wind through forests or along the shoreline, offering opportunities for peaceful reflection and healthy activity.

One of the city’s most popular treks, however, requires no athletic footwear, no love of the outdoors, and no physical stamina. All that’s needed is an appetite, a sweet tooth, and a few bucks in your wallet.

Welcome to the Nanaimo Bar Trail! Continue reading

The Wet Coast

When I lived in Los Angeles, one of my favourite things to do was to go to the beach. I didn’t go to swim (too chilly), surf (poor balance), or sunbathe (I don’t tan). Rather, my excursions were all about ocean appreciation; I simply loved strolling along the beach, listening to the rise and fall of the waves, while gazing at the vastness of the Pacific Ocean. The experience was always profoundly humbling yet spiritually uplifting. At any time of the year, a trip to the beach was the best therapy I knew. Continue reading