June 2010

Journal Excerpt. June 22, 2010.  Tuesday. Sophia’s 1st Birthday

Our second day on the island closes with me writing at dusk, in the tent with my beautiful rosy cheeked one year old daughter sleeping at my side and a chorus of mosquitoes singing their squealing song inches from my face while they dance against the bug screen window of the tent. The ocean is completely glass still, a sea lion bull croaks his deep croak, and birds twitter goodnight.

We arrived on the island yesterday morning on the 9:45 ferry after our night in French Creek. David and Ayrie woke at pre-dawn to launch the skiff and Ayrie headed off towards the island with the boat loaded with half or our possessions, leaving David and I to take the ferry with the rest of our belongings. He was there at the dock to meet us when we arrived. The skiff was re-loaded, and Ayrie set off again, this time on a much shorter trip around the point to the land, and we set off on our bikes, giddy to have arrived at last. Sophia bounced along behind me in her brand new birthday Chariot, singing little brum-brum songs and going “weeee” and “woooo.”

Birthday Flowers from Mama.

Sophia was glorious on her first birthday.

She continues to be full of adventure and is fearless about crawling off along the trail or into the woods, exploring the fallen logs, bark, branches, leaves, grasses, and twigs. She did a face plant when a log that she was aiming for turned out to be too rotten to support her weight and has the scrape on her forehead to prove it.

While we were down on the beach contemplating what to do about our boat, she clearly wanted to get into the water, and so after several attempts at diverting her attention, I just let her crawl on it. She loved it, and splashed around, crawling through the ocean water along the rocks, pink over-alls and all! I went in for a swim too, and after I was done I took her out into deeper water where I could dip her entirely in. She loved it, expressing so much excitement with her waving arms, wide eyes, and big smile. What a beautiful new experience to have on your first birthday! David suggested that I dive her, and so I did, head first, into full immersion ocean swimming. My sweet little baby, plunging head first into the sea! She came out with all limbs flapping, eyes wide, but did not cry or protest. She seemed to like the experience, and so we did it twice more, three times in all. The moment was profoundly beautiful (as was the whole day), my body naked and strong in the ocean and sunshine, my baby daughter wet from head to toe in ocean water, filled with sparkle and light, my soulmate on the beach, watching and awaiting us. The ocean, oh sacred body, oh mother ocean.

We rinsed off in the tap and then quickly crawled into bed together to nurse and warm up.

Sophia had her afternoon nap with her Dada. She ate yoghurt, grapes, and strawberries for breakfast, oranges, seaweed rice crackers, arame seaweed, and rice noodles with dulce for lunch, and grapes, raisins, quinoa and almond butter for dinner. She sang her lodilodilodi song often, and lit up my life with her smile. She started to pat her chest when we say Sophia, and point to her ears when we say ear. She inspected an arbutus tree, had a bath in a blue Rubbermaid after lunch, read stories (A your Adorable), ate a wild strawberry that I found, can say water by tapping her mouth with her hand, cuddled with her lamb and her bear, crawled long distances over rough terrain, and stood and banged on our plastic buckets.

Sophia is magnificent!

Happy Birthday little one, I love you!

Sophia’s fist wild strawberry.

Outdoor Birthday Bath.

More photos here.


Journal Excerpt. June 20, 2010. Sunday

Writing from my new home, a 12” x 7” nylon dome with huge windows to the outdoors where the fresh, wild breeze liberates the soul and cleanses the mind! Oh I am so happy to be on the adventure! We’re currently set up in between a highway and the sea, on a small patch of grass shaded by towering pines and sprinkled with white daisies. While we had hoped to be set up on the land by sunset, the wind had other ideas. It is blowing too hard to attempt the crossing from Vancouver Island over to Lasqueti in our 14 foot skiff, and so here we are, hanging out, waiting for the wind to die down.  Sophia is sleeping next to me as I write after a very busy day of travel.

Camped out, waiting for the wind to quiet down….

After bidding adeau to Salt Spring, we spent a whirlwind few days in Victoria, gathering the things needed for living in a tent and visiting with friends and family.

And finally, after what feels like weeks, if not months, of preparation we are on our way to the summer island! So much packing, scratching our heads at how it is that we still have so much stuff after working so hard at giving so much of it away, distilling more and more, packing, until we finally have a tight little package of things we absolutely need for the summer.  I feel somewhat like a pioneer with her oxen cart laden with only essentials, setting out to live on raw land. Somewhat, the sentiment may be there, but I really am nothing like my pioneer ancestors in terms of circumstance.

Still, it is fun to pretend. This is what our modern day oxen cart looked like:

While my great-grandfather rode through mile after mile of wilderness to homestead on the Peace River, I drove through miles of big box stores, offering stuff in abundance such as no other generation has ever known.  While the land I am going to go and live on has none of the comforts offered by living in a house plugged into the grid, comforts my great-grandfather would not have been able to even dream of, I can still escape and reach hot showers and electric lights within hours.

It is an interesting and constant commitment, to live with less in a part of the world so craftily designed to persuade you to always live with more. It is a commitment that I find immensely rewarding.

Amen to simplicity and the freedom to adventure!

June 4, 2009

A year ago, on June 4, David took some shots of Sophia and I.

That was before we knew she was Sophia, or even that she was a she. That was before I knew what the world was like to live in as a mama, and before I knew what it was like to breathe in the fullness of motherhood.

It is something I think I will be learning to do for the rest of my life….motherhood is a vast and constantly shifting sea (and I know some of you are thinking “just wait until she is a teenager!”) I am so blessed to be on this trip.

There is no one I would rather be a mother to, my sweet and beautiful little Sophia!

Love your Mama.

June 15, 2010.

Well, it feels like our summer adventures have officially begun!

I found myself somewhat reluctantly packing up this time (truth be told, I cried…moving can be hard for me and this is the third move we have done already in the first year of Sophia’s life!) Now that the moving part is over and our books and odds and ends are all safely packed away, I feel excited for the adventures ahead!

Goodbye sweet little cottage, you’ve been good to us!

Packing up.

We’ve extended our stay on the island, living in the spare bed-room at Ma Rineke and Pa Brad’s house, and it will be another few weeks before we head up to the land to live in a tent. Working on the Airstream is our reason for staying longer, and it is coming along BEAUTIFULLY! David is doing an amazing job, and I love seeing things unfold. The Airstream will live here for the summer until we are ready to head South with it, making for an excellent excuse to come and stay with my mom as often as possible (as if we needed an excuse!)

Everyone keeps saying “what a big project!”

David says it doesn’t feel like a big project….just think how much more work a house renovation would be!

I am so thrilled to be married to a man who can quote Thich Nhat Hanh over tea and then head out to build things with power tools. I love you now and forever David Rain!

(One of the many little projects for the Airstream is to re-paint the blue lettering and stripe.)

Apart from being happy about our new house with wheels being re-modeled, I am thrilled to be living with my mom for a few weeks. Inter-generational living is wonderful with a young baby…..we’ve all felt so happy being together.

I am also thrilled to get a little longer on this magical island, with its winding roads curving through thick green forests, meadows of wildflowers, mossy bluffs, and abundant road-side farm stands!

Oh yes, the life gets pretty sweet on the islands in the summer……

A Beautiful Sunday in the meadow.

Meadow self-portrait.

Enjoying some spring asparagus on the way home. We’ve probably eaten our weight in this sweet, crunchy delicacy this spring (well. not quite. I exaggerate!)

Thanks for reading!

With delicate green love, Katrina Rain.