There are times in my life when my soul craves the mountains, and there are times when it craves the sea. In one month I’ll be storm watching on the west coast of Vancouver Island with some great friends. Nature is a calming presence in my life, one of the few. Being surrounded by the towering, majestic peaks of the Canadian Rockies is a feeling I wish I could describe accurately. Although the mountains hold my heart, the sea sets it free. I have had some breath-taking experiences on the Pacific Ocean, which is what inspired me to design the above quote. I plan on sharing a few of these experiences over the next few months, while hopefully creating new ones.
Yesterday my husband and I ventured to the jewel of the North Shore, Deep Cove. It’s a cozy little town located at the base of Mt. Seymour, and it also lies on the shores of the Indian Arm which is a branch of Burrard Inlet in North Vancouver. In autumn, the tree-lined streets glow orange in the sunlight and the sailboats, kayakers and paddleboarders fill the harbour with quiet activity. It’s a very beautiful place to spend a sunny day, whether you’re out on the water, hiking the hills, or walking the streets.
We spent the afternoon hiking one of Vancouver’s most popular hikes – Quarry Rock. The trailhead marks the beginning of the famous Baden Powell Trail and the Douglas Fir and Hemlock tree forest is thick, but light seeps through the trees highlighting the creeks and mountainside. It was a beautiful, and at times strenuous 45 plus minutes of climbing up and down, and back up again. The elevation is 100 metres and you pass over four different creeks before you reach the huge rock overlooking the Indian Arm and mountains surrounding the community of Belcarra across the inlet. The view from Quarry Rock is phenomenal and I highly suggest checking out this hike if you’re ever in the area.
I don’t know if it’s the cooler air we’re experiencing on the West Coast, the fact that a friend informed me that Starbucks is bringing back the Pumpkin Spice Latte very soon, or just the need to have a distraction from our wedding preparations, but whichever the reason, I felt the need to immerse myself in the impending spectacle that is Autumn. Don’t get me wrong I love Summer just as much as everyone else – the sun, the heat, the beaches, the water, the bikinis.. it’s great. Winter is a magical time for me too. I can’t get enough of fresh fallen snow, and Christmas is definitely my favourite holiday. Spring… I’ve never enjoyed Spring all that much. I think this is because I grew up in a place which had very long winters, and all Spring meant was a dirty city. Melting, gravel filled snowbanks are not pretty.
So by far, Autumn is the most glorious season in my books. There are so many things that I love about the season, I thought I would share some of them to keep me satisfied until September 22 (when I’m actually allowed to celebrate it). First off, there’s the clothing – cute jackets, chunky scarves & mitts and leather boots make up my ideal outfit. The layering of dark, neutral, earthy tones is what I long for. Besides the clothing, Autumn comes with amazingly beautiful landscapes. Multicoloured deciduous trees which blanket the area make for gorgeous scenes. The cool, crisp air, spooky Halloween festivities, harvest foods, apple cider, piles of leaves, and the anticipation of the Christmas season all contribute to a very happy time of year.
Okay so this post isn’t about quick garden construction, but a brief highlight of gardening photos I took (and Instagramed) while weeding and planting tulip bulbs in my Mom’s front garden last weekend. There were a few hours of warm sun between a downpour of a morning, and a strike of hail in the late afternoon. (I do hope those little bulbs survived…)
I’m sitting here on Saturday, March 23rd. It’s 8:00pm and I’m enjoying Earth Hour. The candles are lit, popcorn is popped, books are being read all while comfy on the couch with blankets. It’s a cozy night in with my fiance, and I love it. Time to relax, cherish relationships and rekindle memories of simpler times is necessary every once in awhile. Whenever we get caught up in work, endless days that drag on or issues that never seem to go away, I recommend spending some time like this. Even if it isn’t Earth Hour, we could all benefit from using less electricity in our lives – so why not make it a monthly or even weekly occurrence? I think I’ll do it. Start with once a month spending an evening electricity free. That sounds refreshing. I feel more relaxed already
If you didn’t hear, Vancouver has been named Global Earth Hour Capital for its dedicated efforts year after year participating in the Earth Hour cause. Earth Hour is a global campaign, “born out of the hope to mobilize people to take action on Climate Change” (earthhour.org). It is now the single, largest, symbolic mass participation event in the world. Every year I do my best to take part in the event, in addition to doing things in my everyday life to be sustainable and eco-friendly. This year however, I have decided to combine my participation in Earth Hour with my vow to do more reading and finish more books. On Saturday evening I will be turning off the lights, television, unplugging appliances and so on, in favour of candles, books, blankets, and perhaps a game of cards or two with my fiance. I challenge you to do the same.
Earth Hour now inspires a global community of millions of people in 7,001 cities and towns across 152 countries and territories to switch lights off for an hour as a massive show of concern for the environment.