First, I am sorry for all the chicken photos. But they were all too cute, so I had to include a lot of them. En route to a three-day getaway on the Sunshine Coast (the mainland coast north of Vancouver, accessible only by ferry, for those who may not know), we stopped to see Christopher’s sister Stephanie Rose who is working on Keats Island as a nanny-slash-farm intern. The Bean was a very enthusiastic egg-gatherer, loved the rabbit and the pigs, but especially the chickens, whom she kept chasing around saying “chick-in? chick-in?” Much of the fun of having kids is just watching them experience the world, seriously!
We were away for a week, and now I don’t want to go anywhere for a good long while. Nothing like too many nights on the road to make you appreciate home, haha. It’s true that the idea of vacation looks different now than it did when we had no kids, and I think we’re still sorting out how to do it well, and not come back more tired than we left. Staycations, as attractive as they are in some ways, have historically been difficult for us – there are always projects peeping around every corner, reminding us of what we could be doing. It was fun to explore a new place, however, even if the Sunshine Coast was less sunshiney than advertised. We really enjoyed our visit to the Iris Griffith nature centre – highly recommended for anyone in the area!! We celebrated our anniversary very quietly, which was just perfect. Four years seems like a long time, but then again, I know we’re just newlyweds to some of our long-married friends. Every year we record a short interview with one another, recapping the past year and looking forward to the next. Then we don’t watch it until after we’ve recorded the next one a year later! It’s fun to look back at how we’ve changed, how our plans have changed, how we’ve grown. Every year, so far, we’ve been away from home on our anniversary. This seems fairly indicative of our time together so far…home becomes where you are together, not a particular place.
On our actual anniversary we had to go to Vancouver for Christopher’s academic day. It was a day complete with nearly missing ferries, dealing with Vancouver traffic, and all the chaos of coordinating yet another night away from home. I think that the occasional travel mishap is good for our marriage – it gives us an opportunity to stretch our just-roll-with-it muscles (I should include that mine usually need stretching more than Christopher’s), and reminds us that relying on one another is always better than being divided in a crisis. (I won’t talk about the day after, when we tried to catch a ferry back to Nanaimo and they had a three sailing, six hour wait. Ah, island life.)
The last stop on our week of adventure was at A Rocha’s Brooksdale Environmental Centre, where I was once a part-time sustainable agriculture intern. It was a life-changing experience, and the things I learned there, and the people I learned from, still influence my decisions today. I felt warmed by memories as we walked around, and delighted seeing our kids enjoying the sunshine, the river, and the people there. They do good work there, and do it with joy, hospitality, and hope. I was glad of a chance to revisit them and catch anew a bit of that passion for creation care.
Of course, I haven’t even mentioned the camping trip we went on the weekend before, with dear friends from Victoria, or the brief visit with Christopher’s family that we had once we got back. It really was a month’s worth of adventures packed into one short week. Now, back to the garden, back to diapers, back to cooking and reading and crafting and all the stuff of life that fills our days…