Words Travel

The only journey is the one within.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

It’s Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada, a weekend that was supposed to be awash in moody rain. Yesterday’s walk required an umbrella although I didn’t mind – the nearby ocean roared and the raindrops fell warmly making routine errands magical.

Today’s warmth and golden sunshine drew me on a walk towards a copse of lush woodland just down my street where a small group of yoga practitioners often meet to stretch near twisting thorn covered blackberry tendrils and underneath scarlet berries. There is a sense of the otherworldly as they gracefully move into the next pose below gently falling tawny leaves.

This was a day to savour and not knowing if the rain might return I decided to put off apartment chores to spend more time in the autumn light. I found myself at the edge of the Rose Garden with stunning blooms still reaching for the sun and a colourful swathe of fall dahlias. Amid a stand of fragrant cedars, the park’s excellent gardeners had created a fairy-like collection of small seats carved from a group of forgotten stumps. One seat was formed by a single smooth limb left attached to two stumps resembling a forest swing. I scrambled up on it and held on tight to both stumps and began to rock – and guess what? It actually felt like I was swinging! What a wonderful spot for a child or us to discover…

Lately, I’ve been exploring closer to home, wandering up and down newly named laneways on my afternoon walks. I found a hidden garden up one alleyway spanning almost a full block – I could see tomatoes of all sizes hanging on dark green vines, their pale skins waiting for the autumn sun and squash leaves winding through gaps in the fencing, a riotous harvest for tenants and strangers alike.

Just like that late summer fruit, I’ve been seeking light each time I step out into a world fraught with danger. Waiting until I reach the wide open spaces of the park after dancing between neighbours and visitors distracted by the pandemic that haunts our days and obscures the light – which is why we took the plunge and booked a few nights at our favourite retreat on Vancouver Island, giving us the chance to breathe deep, take in the sacred silence found there and revel in the mid-autumn light even if it’s just the flames dancing in the fireplace.

Our time spent in our woodland studio was like a dream – there were long walks through fern forest and by twisted trees near the Strait, their root systems laid bare by damp sand and erosion. Hundreds of leaves in colours of burnt orange, apricot and burgundy continually fell as we walked familiar trails often lit by a group or a lone golden-hued beauty. On cloudier outings these wondrous trees lit up the dark woods like the sun.

We woke to the haunting sound of calling ravens flying overhead most mornings, enjoying small plates of delicious food on offer in the welcoming lounge in the late afternoons as our days passed outside rain or shine. I sipped on dark red wine hailing from Spain and a bottle of that same wine purchased from our local wine store now sits on my kitchen counter, an elixir against November storms and the second wave of a pandemic seemingly spiraling out of control.

For the first time on the Island we walked beloved needle packed paths to the sound of the fall chorus of the Pacific Tree frog. In our urban forest haunts, this small creature is often a rare sighting – to hear them deep in the forest and at the edge of the ocean was an unexpected delight that makes me smile and helps to hold onto that unique Island vibe.

Returning home to the madding crowds after the friendly hellos and smiles from fellow walkers has been an unwelcome shock as well as the two week mini-lockdown that came into effect. Our now or never getaway taken at just the right time as non-essential travel is now restricted as our province tries to bend the curve once again.

Words travel and these ones certainly did as my trusty notebook was accidently left in the airporter/taxi as we made our way home! It arrived back this week by courier so you could read them here now…

This stunning view greeted us after an afternoon walk through the forest at Rathrevor Park near Parksville on Vancouver Island, B.C.

Autumn on Vancouver Island offered so much beauty, we couldn’t stop exploring.

The grey trunks just pop against the golden-hued trees throughout Rathrevor Park!

About anotetohuguette

I'm currently blogging from the beautiful West Coast city of Vancouver, British Columbia - a vibrant city by the sea, surrounded by mountains and a very unique urban forest.
This entry was posted in blog, journaling, life, memoir, photography, travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

55 Responses to Words Travel

  1. Eliza Waters says:

    Sounds like an idyllic getaway. In light of current events, a trip like that is even more special. Glad you got to do it before the latest lockdown. Stay safe and well!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A beautiful peaceful walk, Kim. I love the description of the yoga practitioners among the falling leaves, and the makeshift swing. It’s wonderful to capture those sunny days and take advantage of breaks in the rain. Be well and enjoy.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So beautiful – and so much more precious to get to be away in nature in these times!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. murisopsis says:

    Perfect timing! How fortunate you are to be able to enjoy the beauty of nature. Your luck must be excellent to have recovered your notebook!! I hope the lockdown is kind to you and your curve is flattened and you remain safe from COVID…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Travis says:

    Oh Rathtrever is always so beautiful. As a child, that was our go to place for camping every year for many years. Now it is a walk that I do with my mom once a year. So many wonderful memories. Thank you for bringing me back to this beautiful place and the memories at this time when we are all shuttered inside.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Travis!
      I’m so glad this offering brought back so many lovely memories. Our timing was perfect and I’m so glad we weighed the risks and trusted, this trip was extra special, that’s for sure!
      We’re wondering if Bright Nights is still on track to lighting up our own forest anytime soon! X

      Like

  6. ugetse says:

    Thanks for another inspiring note. Love the Rathtrever photos, a real mystic place. Nice to retreat in the silence of nature. Thanks for the Sprit Bear coffee. 🍂😘

    Liked by 2 people

  7. A lovely respite for you and your readers. Thanks Kim.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. calmkate says:

    So very glad that you had an ‘nature’ escape, well timed and how kind to get your notebook returned so we could share your good fortune! The light on that trunk is surreal, thanks so much 🙂

    pray you get thru this covid hump
    and the bs tRump
    … bring on Biden!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. So glad you experienced Vancouver Island and just in the nick of time! I am an Islander, and after all these years am still blown away by the beauty. I feel like the luckiest person in the world! Hopefully, we bend the curve quickly so we can move about freely and experience all there is to offer in this gorgeous province of ours! Your lovely post made me feel ridiculously grateful that I live here. The world has seemingly gone mad. But better days are ahead; I am holding onto that!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi, Tanya (& neighbour!)!
      It’s lovely to know that you’re faring well here in our beautiful province…the Island calls to us often, we’re so lucky to be able to jump on a ferry and find our way there.
      Thank you so much for enjoying the read, you’ve brightened a rather gloomy morning!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Kathy says:

    Oh what a lovely walk. So beautiful! And your writing is so poetic and evocative. You brought me back to June, 2018, when my daughter treated me to a trip to Vancouver. We never visited the island there, but the next day traveled to San Juan Island in Washington. It felt so spiritual and wonderful–that northwest paradise. Thanks for the time travel this afternoon.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Tranature - quiet moments in nature says:

    So glad to see you had a blissful time in your beloved woodland studio Kim, what a blessing you went there and back just before the next lockdown. Your guardian angels have been busy helping you with your getaway and returning your notebook too! 👼

    Liked by 1 person

  12. AmyRose🌹 says:

    Sigh, sigh …. what a beautifully written post, so soft and gentle and your pictures and what you described just brought me into that realm of magic I know so well. Keep that “feeling” of freedom and bliss within your heart as we travel through the next couple of weeks. Thank you so much for sharing your vacation. Normalcy. Every time I visit a park I return to normalcy. (smile) xo

    Liked by 1 person

  13. floweringink says:

    Kimberlee, your writing transports me in such a magical way. Thank you for sharing all of this beauty. I always feel as if I have been somewhere exquisite after reading your posts. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. markmkane says:

    Loved the pictures Kimberlee. I’m so amazed every time you venture out into nature. Reading your words and seeing it through your eyes just makes me wish I was there experiencing it myself. Your post helps me to visualize a place that’s unlike anywhere where I live, you also add words to describe the sounds as well which helps to reinforce what I’m picturing in my head. Thanks for sharing your walks about.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed the walks here and on the Island, Mark! It warms my heart to read that a reader or two can join me on my journeys…
      I hear that Hawaii and Vancouver will become a travel bubble next month…it would be lovely to find myself there again…our mini-lockdown has been extended to December 7th, sigh!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Phew, I’m glad you got that notebook back! You spirited me away to different landscapes, as I walked with you beside Yogis under the trees, flower gardens, woodland and your retreat. I’ve been searching for light too and your words have given me a little more of that golden autumn light as I sit here in the darkness.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s hard to believe that in just a few weeks, the light will start to make its way back into our world…there are colder nights, clearer skies and frosty rooftops in the mornings…I think it’s time to welcome winter!
      Thank you for walking along, I always appreciate your lovely comments!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Luanne says:

    I don’t think I could comment at the time I read this, but wanted to come back and let you know how much I enjoyed the walk. Thank you for taking me with you.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. areilly88 says:

    Wow! Thanks for taking us with you! Love the Rilke quote too. Have you read Letters to a Young Poet? It is worth reading in its entirety, in my opinion. Wishing you well!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Lovely rendition of your wonderful time spent in the wilds. Such beautiful country. Love the phrase, “the haunting call of the ravens”.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Kathy, for stopping by! We’re starting to hear the “haunting call of the ravens” as they leave the forest and hunt closer to the city (it seems to be a winter ritual!).
      It’s a season like no other and I hope this note finds you celebrating small pleasures and reading beloved books…

      Like

  19. Beautiful words as always, Kim. Cannot wait to read your next offering for us. I am sticking around. 🙂 I hope the festive season is keeping you engaged and merry. Love and hugs. x

    Liked by 1 person

    • We are blessed with snow on the mountains, twinkling lights from glowing nearby windows and seasonal treats (chocolate, anyone?!).
      Thank you so much for stopping by, I’m thrilled you enjoyed the read, my friend! X

      Like

      • That sounds so beautiful, Kim. The snow-clad mountains should be an instant pick-me-up. The twinkling lights are my favourite though. As for chocolate, I might have swapped it for boozy fruit cake for the month. Woozy with greed.😋

        Catch ya soon girl! xx

        Liked by 1 person

      • We have a small rum soaked Christmas cake tucked away and I think it’s time to break it out!
        I hope you and yours are having a magical Christmas Eve…

        Liked by 1 person

      • We are, Kim, thank you. Went for a run and the stormy morning was exhilarating. It is only gonna get worse as the day wears on. Now ready for a nice pat of brie and crackers. As for cake, I have to confess that I have been a greedy monkey. Been noshing on Christmas cake all month! :-/

        Wishing your loved one and you a wonderful, warm Christmas, filled with cakes, gingerbread men and mince pies and everything delicious. xx

        Liked by 1 person

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