My less frequent posts as of late have been in part due to a vacation I took to Vancouver Island. I like to call it my “To the Island” trip as a take-off on Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse.
She felt… how life, from being made up of little separate incidents which one lived one by one, became curled and whole like a wave which bore one up with it and threw one down with it, there, with a dash on the beach.
I visited several small towns along the east coast that I’ve never been to before, including Crofton, Ladysmith, Duncan, and then up to Nanaimo and down to Victoria (which I have been to before since I lived there as a grad student).
I’m not one for small towns, but I concede there is a certain charm to them when visiting. I was pleasantly surprised at the plethora of used bookstores and vintage/consignment clothing shops in a number of places. Aaron Espe captures the small town life in this song:
And I’ve tried to capture some photos that, even if they don’t exactly characterize the town, at least characterize my experience of that particular town:
There’s only one main street running through Ladysmith. It hosted the town’s annual “show and shine.”
If that wasn’t rural enough, I was about to get even more country by staying on this picturesque farm on the outskirts of town.
A day lounging at the beach, petting goats, and walking the boardwalk around Crofton’s harbour.
The town doesn’t look like much from the highway, but once you turn off and actually get into the downtown area, it has some really quaint spots. Duncan is also known as “The City of Totems.” Apparently there’s over 80.
Home of Nanaimo bars and Diana Krall. Lovely, colourful harbour city.
I took the least amount of pictures here, probably because I took so many when I lived in this city. In any case, I love visiting this old “home” and running the ocean route along Dallas Road I used to do as a student.
Pico Iyer says we carry many versions of home inside of us and I think that is very true. Sometimes we may even call a place home that we’ve never lived in but dream of living in, because we spend just as much time thinking about it. I had never thought about that until he said it, but it made sense. Vancouver was home to me long before I moved there. So, where is home for you? Small town, big city? Both?
Here’s the TED talk if you have fifteen minutes: