So here I am, suddenly living alone for the first time in thirty years, winding down to retirement in a matter of weeks after thirty-five years of full-time work, living in a new community for the first time in thirty years, and parentless for the first time, ever. A lot of change in a month!
I am writing this, as is my wont, standing up, in the great room of my new home. The view in front of me is this one, and there’s a similar view to my right. To my left and behind me there is garden and forest, rising into the mountains. There is forest, in fact, all around me, and here it stays green all year round. I really am alone – there are no neighbours within eyesight or earshot. The nearest house, at least from what I’ve discovered from my walks so far and from the Google aerial shots, appears to be an organic foods restaurant and permaculture garden about a five minute walk down the hill and down the road.
Here’s the house from the front. At the moment, I’m waiting for my first furniture to arrive – a sectional sofa and a bed. I’m shipping a small amount of furniture from my last home in Ontario next month, but it’s basically furnishings for the other two bedrooms, so I can welcome visitors (I’ve invited lots of friends to visit, but they’re so scattered around the globe I suspect visitors will be few and far between). I really have all I need here – three suitcases of clothes and one of artwork, plus my laptop and the other portable electronics I take everywhere I go, and my bicycle. I have some kitchenware and linens to buy, and some stools for the kitchen bar, but that’s about it. The organic food store in town, a twenty-minute bike ride away, has all my favourite vegan foods and raw ingredients.
Beside me is a large and lovely park that is largely unknown, even to my fellow Bowen Islanders, since it is brand new and not yet on the ‘map’, so it is almost as if it is my own. Not that I need the space or the privacy, but this park, with its deep dark ponds, bridges and moss-covered stone circle will be, for now at least, the site of my morning meditative, presencing and reconnecting practices. Picture me walking barefoot down to this park, along the wood-chip trail, in a kimono (or caftan in cooler weather), my cushion and candle in hand, my iPhone with the appropriate music and guided mediations clipped to my belt.
The interior space is open and large and full of light — perfect for Open Space sessions I plan to facilitate to plot our campaign to stop the Tar Sands and factory farming in Canada. And the bathroom upstairs is a romantic fantasy – an old-fashioned tub in the middle of a large room, with skylights above it. The perfect place for soaking in the evening beneath the stars. Hot water always seems to stimulate my imagination and creativity, readying me for an evening of writing, or the composition of music.
All my life I have been blessed with incredible good fortune – great parents and friends, love, security, health, material comfort, well-paying and (mostly) rewarding work that just seemed to fall into my lap. Accidentally discovering blogging seven years ago – the most important turning point of my life, and catalyst for a dozen fortuitous events since then. Even the serious illness that befell me three years ago was a blessing, prompting me to make changes to my lifestyle and life’s intentions that have been transformative and entirely positive.
And now this – this eden.
But I won’t be spoiled, or diverted from my intentions.