This will not be your usual travelogue. You know how you sit down after a trip and prepare to tell a story. You say: we went here, here and here. We did this, this and that. We traveled up and down and all around and here is a chronological listing and educational expression of our adventures.
No, I am not inspired to do that today. Most of you know that my daughter and I traveled to the Pacific Northwest recently. I flew to her home in Portland, Oregon, before we girls traveled to Seattle, Vancouver, British Columbia and San Juan Island, Washington.
Today I want to randomly show you photos from the trip that mean something to me–and tell you why.
This first photo shows a cascade of yellow flowers above the Salish Sea on San Juan Island. I loved the yellow-orange blessings of them above the baby blue sea.
If you turned and looked in the other direction you would see a beach covered with driftwood. I felt deeply connected to the whole Universe while walking along this shore. My eyes teared up more than once, this heart throbbed, the world felt whole and true and beautiful. The next day we saw foxes playing in the wild above the beach, and perhaps my daughter felt a little of the same.
Freshly wave-washed beach stones shimmer in sunlight. Treasures abounded. I brought home a small special piece of driftwood and a green rock. The green rock nestles in a hole in the driftwood, reminding me that there are times and places where the beauty of life can surround the world’s sorrows and leave your heart soft and open.
I like this picture of the ferry coming into Friday Harbor on the island. We approached on this very same ferry a couple of days before. Calm waters in a marina. Fluffy white clouds. The faint smell of fish.
The water looks so very blue in this photo. The schooner looks so very white. I like the way it looks like it’s sailing out of the picture, right at the top.
This Buddha-fellow sat on the hearth at our Airbnb in Vancouver. Carina, the owner, taught yoga. One cupboard overflowed with dozens of teas. A bookshelf swept toward the ceiling filled with yoga and spiritual books. A stairway led to the rooftop where a visitor might sip tea or wine overlooking the neighborhood. Unfortunately, the weather proved too cool to linger there.
Kiah took this picture of Vancouver from the vantage of Stanley Park. I. Totally. Love. It.
While Kiah snapped the Vancouver photo, I admired this lily pond. She admired the same lily pond later.
Pardon me for the interjection of these photos. You’re right, they’re a bit blurry, but they make me happy. I was scrolling through Facebook the first morning in Portland. Kiah’s little cat, Neemah (or Nims) saw me watching the video of the little ballerinas and jumped up to watch. Her paw shot out onto the iPad as she tried to touch the ballerinas. Suddenly she was scrolling through Facebook. Too funny!
Totem poles on Stanley Island. I just like them.
The above photo is a flotation tank. While in Vancouver, Kiah and I decided to experience a sensory deprivation tank. She’s floated before, but I’ve only heard about it. The tank (like a large bathtub) fills with salt water. Music and soft flashing lights surround as you pull the lid down over you. Slowly the tank darkens. You float. You lose sense of time and body. Pure consciousness reveals itself. Or, as my daughter says, you relax…
She went elsewhere as I visited the Museum of Vancouver. The museum featured several galleries detailing the history of the city. One of them contained exhibits from the 60’s and 70’s. I stood before this photo of hippies in Vancouver for a long time, imagining the flower children. The original hippies existed a few years before my time, but some of my older friends would have fit in with this group.
We also experienced a bit of serendipity! When we drove into Vancouver, many signs heralded a neighborhood called “Yaletown”. Yale, Michigan, as some of you know, is my hometown. I had heard from Mom that family friends were visiting Vancouver at the same time. I casually appealed to the Universe, “If you could arrange us running into them, that would be appreciated.” Then the entire wish was forgotten.
The next day Kiah and I entered a toy store on Granville Island. A young woman approached. “Are you Kathy Sheldon?” she asked. My mouth dropped. “Yes…”
Turns out she was Elizabeth, the daughter of our friends Jim and Mary Vinckier! She grew up in the house across the street from our house…in the house where my brother now lives. She led us to her parents and we enjoyed an impromptu reunion. What a delight!
And, finally, a selfie of the girls on the ferry, happy to be together, happy to be sharing this vacation.
Thanks for joining us!