“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)

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

  1. What does one say except that, yup, people just don’t care. User fees for wheelchairs that weren’t discussed during the campaign. How typical of the BC Liberals! Just like when they brought in the HST. Voters care more about the Canucks and American Idol than they do about their and their kid’s future. Christy Clark ran a blantant fact free campaign.

    • Well why would they disclose something like that? Reminiscent of the data the liberals withheld prior to the 2009 election on welfare rates and other issues. And sadly, people tend not to care in a big way, until it directly impacts their lives…

      Great comment Will.

  2. I am afraid that I disagree. Individuals do care what is going off around them. The problem is, how is it possible to coaleace in order to put forth a voice. Happy for you Laila per your trip to the Island. My recreation was down in the deserts of Arizona for some sun on the old bones.

    • My bones could use a month or two of hot sun, and I’m not old yet..lol…

      I agree SOME people care… but not enough to speak up, or out. Fear is not the enemy, it is the reminder to be wary. Fear is a good thing. Embrace it. You can live in silence or you can live in truth – not one or the other, in my view 😉

  3. We’re listening and reading. Far too many suffer in silence, but they are absorbing everything Laila. Don’t ever give up tilting at windmilles.

    peace and thank you

    Dave Chesney

    • Good to know Dave 😉 Thank you, for what you do, and what you share. I do believe a better world is really possible. We just have to get over the shit of talking about it, and get on with making it happen.

  4. Agatha Christie had Hercule Poirot give the following remark that seems applicable here.

    “One needs roots as well as flowers on a plant, Mr Legge (read Prem Clark). However large and beautiful the flowers, if the earthy roots are destroyed there will be no more flowers.”

    Cheers Laila and glad your visit to the big Island was so soul enriching.

    • Such a timely quote Eric. 🙂 Every where I go is soul enriching, thanks to the wonderful people I end up chatting with! But the island is my sanctuary…. for sure!

  5. I think that people do care. There is a huge disconnect between caring and action though. We’ve evolved so be a social animal for our survival, and as a result social influences are very powerful. There is a strong disincentive to rock the boat which is coupled with a sense of disempowerment, a lack of knowledge of how to engage and a sense that the issues are too many and too complex to engage on.

    People need some hand-holding to take those steps – pick an issue or two, sign a petition, write a letter, be an informed voter, stand on the side of the road with a sign, stand in the middle of the road with a sign! They need to be told “You count. Your opinion counts and is as valid as anyone’s. It is OK for you to stand up and speak out”. Then they might need to be nudged to turn and hand that sign to someone behind them and take up a bigger one.

    It’s easy to sometimes see only the sea of apparent apathy. I like to cling at those times to words attributed to Gandhiji — “Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.”

    • Agreed. Many choose silence because of fear over what people will think. I say screw it. Other people will make your future if you do it that way!

      Time to stand up, pull up the big boy/girl pants and do something. Following the crowd isn’t working so far as I can see..lol

  6. Hmmm….Astral Weeks, beautiful and troubling. Too bad, coffee (tea, something stronger) was available either coming or going or both, but given the need to take a break from all the noise around politics, maybe better not to have happened. There are a number of my favourite reads that have slowed somewhat following the fury that was the lead-up to the election. It was evident when we screen Bill McKibben’s Do The Math on the 15th that there were a lot of deflated and depressed folks. We get to empathize with those of our neighbours to the south who approached the advent of Obama with such high expectations who now see clearly how bent the whole processes. Politics Re-spun had an interesting take on the level of abstention and I added a few thoughts of my own. In any case, I hope a lot of us are beginning to feel re-energized because there is a load of work to be done, and there probably would have been a lot of that same work had Dix managed what most thought was going to happen (or what we were lulled into thinking).

    • Interesting, and honest commentary. My absence had not much to do with the election but everything to do with a project on the island. But then again, I was not as surprised as everyone was about the loss by the NDP.

      It is, what it is. You are either part of the problem, or part of the solution. I’ve been in the second group for so long it’s ironic, but hoping more and more who think like me will turn their back on the Kool-Aid and get on it.

  7. I grew up on the Prairies. The beautiful photos you see, of Geese flying under the light of the moon in perfect vee forms, really does happen. They honk non-stop and switch off the lead, for another Goose to take over. Geese that don’t migrate, totally screw up their vee’s. I even saw 15 Geese, that actually had their vee backwards. They had a hell of a time, sorting themselves out. There was a lot of discussion going on.

    I also lived in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Pristine air, lakes, rivers and streams. An abundance of wild life, to watch and learn from. My last visit back? I was shocked almost to death. I could not believe, how much the ice fields have receded.

    I lived and worked in Kelowna for many years. The beauty is heavenly. Very often we would rent a houseboat. There were many, many picnics on the beautiful beaches. I had a family of Quail living in my yard. They were fun to watch. The Sentinel sat on the top of my mail box, I was forever having to clean the Sentinels little calling cards, left on my mail box.

    I also lived by the sea. I would look through binoculars for hours, trying to catch a glimpse of Whales and other marine life. I walked along the beach, pretty much every day. I had a family of Raccoon’s which my dog had a running battle with. They would steal his food every chance they had. My dog even had battles with crows. He would be chewing his bones in the backyard. One crow would pull his tail, while the other crow would try to make off with his bones.

    I also lived in the beautiful Kootenay’s. I lived up on a goat trail, where I had a gorgeous view. I would also watch wildlife with my binoculars. My Bear proof garbage can, was carted off by a Bear. I never, ever did find my can.

    Now I live up in the Caribou’s, to be near my son and family. There are many lakes and rivers. We have a picnic every Sunday by one of the lakes or a river, during the nice weather. The fall colors are spectacular here.

    I am prepared to fight right to the last ditch, to save our beautiful Province. I am supporting the F.N. People, in their fight against the Enbridge pipeline.

    • Such a beautiful comment Julie. Me too. I will fight for all of it so my kids can enjoy what I enjoyed growing up.

  8. .. set on Vancouver Island .. and Vancouver .. an unpublished novel ..


    Thanks for your exceptional investigations & journalism !

    And .. !! Your reflections & images on what makes your part of Canada so magical ..

  9. It’s good to see you back at it, Laila. I was at Tofino last summer. We hadn’t been there since about 1990 — and the regrowth on the formerly-deforested mountain by Kennedy Lake was great to see. Mother Nature likes to fix herself up… especially if we give her a hand, or at least stop the abuse.

    On the election: I thought that the power of the BC political blogs would put Christy Clark out to pasture. Who could read “100+ Reasons Why the BC Liberals Must Go” — and then vote for Christy?
    I know that some of your readers would be BC Liberals, looking to keep an eye on what is being said… but I had the impression that hundreds of thousands would know not to vote for Christy.

    Maybe the bulk of the blog readers live in Point Grey? They, at least, got — and gave — a clear message.

    My disappointment is not so much with the tuned-out people who didn’t vote. If they don’t know what the hell they are doing, I’d rather they stayed home. My problem is with the people who voted for Christy, based on the seeds of lies, fear and silly dreams… and the lovely smile.

    It saddens me to think that some of the educated voters here either failed to vote — or voted for the BC Liberals. It also saddens me that the NDP didn’t give people enough reason to vote for THEM.

  10. I love my Island. It is paradise.

    As for politics, grrr. This was the 15min election. People decided in the last 15 min of the campaign who they would vote for. And we (cause I’m a member) gave them nothing. Tragic.

  11. Loved the photo’s. Interesting how so many of them showed the interaction of people and nature. How do we find the balance between these things seem to be the issue we face.

    • I wish I had a favourite button for your comment Lee. It’s so true. It can’t be just one or the other…. or even the pretense of balance. Some of these areas are so unique that even an infinitesimal risk is still far too high.