“Hark, now hear the sailors cry, smell the sea, and feel the sky,let your soul & spirit fly, into the mystic…” ~Van Morrison

For regular followers and subscribers, it’s been a while since I posted on the blog, other than my column.

Following the election, I have needed a time to regroup,  to reassess my own goals and aspirations and take some down time… well not really, but down time from the blog at least :)

I worked on the island for several days recently,on an important job that is very close to my heart for several reasons, but managed to take some time to enjoy what to me, feels like home. It’s rather compelling to me now as an adult, that after growing up in the north, that I feel such a strong connection and sense of peace  not only when I am in the north, but also in a place where the mountains meet the sea…and the north island area does that for me in spades.

Standing on the rocks of Ucluelet, on a calm, cloudy day when the ocean beckons rather than stuns or frightens, I couldn’t help but raise my arms – alone for a moment on a lookout over a tiny cove below the lighthouse, cradled by tree branches warped and shaped by wind, that beckon you along the trail.

It was the same on the beach in Tofino, where the ‘ big ocean’ captured my children so completely they faced the waves head on as if they were in battle… only to run away in giggles when the water ran over their boots…

Sometimes, despite the phenomenal growth in readership of my site over the years particularly the last year – I  sometimes feel like no one is listening.

I feel like in the grand scheme of things, no one cares about corruption, shadow tolls, government excess and waste and all matters relating to the many ways our provincial government abuses and wastes our tax dollars. Sure, people get pissed off over a momentary headline, but then go right back to hockey pool on Thursday at 4 pm, soccer practice at 7am on Saturday or a bender on Saturday night and sleep in until 2 on Sunday.

For people like me, that’s incredibly frustrating. Nothing pisses me off more than hearing people complain about things that impact their life, when one can point the finger directly at the current government, and sometimes, the current opposition.

However, I digress – back to the island. It was not without some happiness that I viewed the previously clear cut areas along the highway to Tofino that were reforested and have grown substantially in years since.

However, there seems to be an increasing presence of clear-cuts on private land that can’t be regulated by government, and those private clear-cuts  impact the public in a big way… Public facilities and infrastructure, watersheds and public safety – they are all put at risk when clearcutting without reforestation happens on private land. I will have a story for you on that soon.

One person who had a huge impact on my outlook growing up in the landlocked north, was http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/86119.Jacques_Yves_Cousteau

Even before the first moment I saw the ocean, I had already had a long love affair with it, via books. As accurately described in the link above: “Cousteau liked to call himself an “oceanographic technician”. He was in reality a sophisticated lover of nature who found a way of communicating complex scientific and biological concepts to ordinary people. While he was criticised at the time by some academics for failing to express science ‘properly’, his work permitted many people to explore the resources of the “blue continent”. “

I was one of those lucky people who was able to explore the vast unknown of the seas and oceans thank to his works and have no doubt his work was instrumental in my incredible love for the vast bodies of water that shape our worlds in many ways that most still don’t understand. Even now, I like to think of myself of a sophisticated lover of nature.. and of finance.. who tries to find a way to communicate the value of both to my readers. We need nature ,the ocean, the mountains, the rivers, to sustain our country and our spirits… but we also need business to sustain our economies and our ventures.

Why is it, that very few have been visionary enough to achieve that balance? When I go to Vancouver Island, I see so much sustainable, ethical,economic bounty it astounds me no one has had the vision to make this happen. Same goes for Surrey, or anywhere else the two worlds collide.

Before you view my photos of this wonderful island time, I leave you with this quote:

“For most of history, man has had to fight nature to survive; in this century he is beginning to realize that, in order to survive, he must protect it.”
―     Jacques-Yves Cousteau

That is, indeed without a doubt, where we are right now. If we, as a human race are to survive and continue on and as one, we must protect the very nature so many of us depend on to sustain us. The rivers, the lakes, the forests… none are exempt. We can balance economic need with environmental concerns, but I do believe that will not happen until we have leaders who have these connections to the land  and the economy, firsthand.

I firmly believe, you do have to live, experience and respect the land and it’s bounty before you can successfully make decisions impacting not only the economic reality of our province, but also the social and environmental realities.

Because mark my words, we are only going to get one chance at this.  ( click on any photo to view them closer)