I love living on Cortes Island B.C. Canada… it’s A (The) Place in The World where I belong!!! With all its natural beauty, forests, lakes, ocean beaches and shores – as well as an amazing community that has always made me feel welcome – I really cannot think of a better place to call home.
“Where does all the beach glass come from?” A question I have often asked myself while combing the beaches of the Salish Sea over the last few decades. And as you might have guessed, I have collected my fair share of this Weathered glass. With every piece I find, I know there is a story to be told, and I sometimes make a story up in my head as I walk home and add another piece to my collection – maybe it is the remnant of some mysterious shipwreck or a piece of an old message in a bottle that broke over some reef! I love seeing all the colours and shape and how some sparkle and some have a matte finish, some still have some sharpness to their edges while others are completely smooth – each piece is unique on its own. And what do I plan to do with all this Weathered beach glass, you ask? Well, for now it sits in a vintage bowl in my garden to be adored but who knows what the future holds!?!
Behold the Pedestrian-only (for both the bipeds and four-legged family members!) path to one of the most beautiful spots on the Salish Sea: Hanks’ Beach!!!
But do not be mistaken! Even though this is a foot-path, I would never call it Pedestrian as its appearance is ever-changing with the seasons; so it’s never a dull trail to walk and the source of constant inspiration with something new to see and experience every time we walk it… wink wink ; )
What does that word mean to you? Have you ever taken one of those? And if so, what did you do? Or what would you do if you took one?
So I just had a staycation right here on Cortes Island… and I think it’s a really interesting thing to do and would suggest everyone to give it a try – whether it means taking five days, two weeks, or a month off your regular routine. Mine ended up lasting two weeks and instead of jetting off somewhere you have been before or on to an new adventure, try Staying Where You Live!!!
So I obviously stayed on Cortes Island, in beautiful BC, Canada. I did this for many reasons: 1st – I love where I live as there are many activities to do here that I enjoy but don’t always give myself the time to enjoy… I am often too busy to – shall I say – smell the flowers and chillax. 2nd – I had a desire to slightly change my routine. For one thing, we went through a very long, cold winter which saw us spend much time inside, and then I co-produced an art event (Expose Yourself) that had me working from September to March and kept me at my computer more than I usually want or desire. I also created an art installation that grew beyond its original scope to something much bigger than planned, which meant a lot of work inside my studio (which I love!), and with the sunlight rising earlier and setting later, I started to feel antsy for the outdoors. And 3rd – I needed to not be distracted from who I really am, take some well needed time in my own brain to figure out what my next move/chapter/mission really is and figure out what do I love, what am I really into, what and who did I really want to vote for (politically as we just had an election in our province), what do I really stand for?
So of course, my staycation meant staying in my own environment – my home, my studio, and my brain! And with my family and away from social media (there were a few moments, I do admit, when I did go on social media but only for very specific reasons). It was refreshing in so many ways. Yes, I missed seeing what my friends were up to, chatting on my network because I do live in a very rural area and can be quite isolated. Taking a break from the computer however, helped me realize how much distraction there is on social media; it can take up so much space in your mind and leave little space to see how to get to the next step, or makes you lose focus and forget what your goals are in the first place.
My staycation turned out to be very interesting in ways I did not expect: For one thing, I saw things on Cortes Island I had never noticed before and will certainly share on some of those things in future posts. And the list of what I did accomplished during that time is quite extensive: I finished my online classes and started a new introductory class at the School for Aromatic Studies, which I also finished (this was very inspiring and brought me back to my roots in so many ways, but that’s for another blog post). I got all caught up with my spring work in my gardens. I started installing the show that was created during the Curators Workshop for the upcoming season at The Cortes Island Museum on Refugee Cove. I brought out my hula-hoop again. I went boating on the Salish Sea. I went out for brunch with friends and had a beautiful dinner with my sweetheart at our local restaurant at the Gorge Marina, and spent countless hours walking up and down all the different white sandy beaches with my family. Yes, the one down side of a staycation is that you still have to do your chores, run your usual errands but at the same time, you know you will be sleeping in a clean and comfy bed and enjoy the food! So all in all, it was great and I am now ready to move on to an enjoyable rest of spring and a fruitful summer ahead, and keep working towards the next chapter of what “creating art” means to me. I hope everyone gets an opportunity to try a staycation someday because it was a thoroughly refreshing experience that taught me a lot about myself and my goals.
And here are a few photos of my staycation!!!
xoxo Laura Balducci
We live on a 33 acres parcel of land that lies between the Salish Sea and Hague Lake on Cortes Island, BC. So seeing wildlife is part of our daily life. We get to see beavers, ducks, wolves, eagles, and so many more species. Deer is also one of our regular visitors but it’s still a very rare occurrence for one of them to Surprise me as it comes up the cliff just when I lift my head up from a project in my studio to look out the window!!! “How long was he watching me?” I think to myself. And yes, I can see you even though your camouflage into the backyard is almost perfect…
When travelling to Cortes Island on the beautiful western coast of Canada, you must not only travel by road but also take what we call our “water highway” – with the assistance of B.C. Ferries or of course your own boat! The Road Taken for us means crossing the Salish Sea!!!
The lifestyle of anyone living on Cortes Island, on the beautiful BC Coast, could best be described as rural.; it is also very remote. It takes 2 ferries to reach the first urban centre where one can do any city stuff!!! This means that many of us become savvy on how to Repurpose items that have outgrown their use and which hopefully make their way to our recycling centre. Such items can be found as boats with holes in them, old rusted bathtubs that needed replacing, and so on. So I have made the habit of going down to the centre once a week to see what we can find to create more garden beds – since we are big on growing as much food as we can and because the land on which we live is riddled with sand deposits (since our property is nestled between a sandy lake shore and sandy ocean trails) it is difficult to make your normal run-of-the-mill raised gardens and we have to get creative!
Those pieces also make for some interesting conversation pieces, as we Repurpose as many items as possible by giving them a rebirth as one of the features in what we call our Art Yard!!!
One of my favourite places to go spend some time in Powell River, BC is Base Camp – Coffee + Food + Art. They have Graceful(ly) made their mark as one of the finest coffee shops on the whole Salish Sea. Displaying art by local artists, serving super yummy organic food, and doing their best to be as environmentally-friendly as possible – just in case you forget your to-go coffee mug!!! – they offer a complete experience for the senses all while nourishing your body and your caffeine cravings!
Art by Colin MacRae