The Call

In the words of Marianne Williamson: "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

"To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Searching for Gibsons

December 21, 2004
In January, 2003, we moved to British Columbia with the idea that we could live there permanently. We had visited the little town of Gibsons on the Sunshine Coast several times on holiday and had fallen in love with it. The first time was in the fall of 1996. We had committed to an Alaskan cruise that departed Vancouver, BC on the Sunday of Labor Day weekend. We left Seattle with the plan to find a place to stay Saturday night in Vancouver but guess what? - There was no room at the inn! We couldn't find a vacancy anywhere. We happened to belong to Days Inn club so we called their help line. The nice young man in Tennessee told us there were vacancies in Gibsons, just a short drive north of Vancouver. We happily made reservations and headed out of town. The four lane freeway abruptly ended at the water. Thinking that we had missed the turn off, we retraced our path only to return to the water! After calling our Tennessee friend back, he rechecked and announced that there was a ferry crossing necessary to get there. After a magical late afternoon crossing, we drove into lower Gibsons and found our motel. Gibsons is a fishing village that time forgot. People walk the streets for entertainment, going down to the pier to watch boating traffic, looking at the towering, snow-covered mountains, spying the ferry on its hourly crossing. We were enchanted. Since we were very nervous about our cruise having never been on one before, we wished that we could have canceled it and spent the week in Gibsons. It was a good thing we didn't because our Alaskan cruise was magical - but that's another story.

Our home in Gibsons overlooked the harbor and we awakened each morning with eagerness. We went exploring by car and by foot. Almost every evening, we walked down to the harbor after dinner to look at the boats and daydream about where they had been or were going. We made friends at the coffee shops and spent hours conversing with them over a pastry and a cup. The accents were captivating, the customs just different enough to be interesting and the exchange rate fluctuated daily. We were in love with a new country, a new home, a new beginning.

Then in May or so, we met some ex-pat Americans who informed us that we could only stay for six months out of each calendar year. We resisted at first, determined to become illegal aliens, hiding from the vaunted Royal Canadian Mounties of lore. But eventually, sanity prevailed and we planned our departure, saddened but fulfilled by our time there. The only problem since then is that we tend to measure each place we visit by Gibsons standards and all fall woefully short. Just this morning, we realized that as much as we like the Port Townsend, Washington area, it's just not our Gibsons. Will we ever find a replacement?