“Going to the woods is going home.” ― John Muir

Mountain trail

“I felt like lying down by the side of the trail and remembering it all. The woods do that to you, they always look familiar, long lost, like the face of a long-dead relative, like an old dream, like a piece of forgotten song drifting across the water, most of all like golden eternities of past childhood or past manhood and all the living and the dying and the heartbreak that went on a million years ago and the clouds as they pass overhead seem to testify (by their own lonesome familiarity) to this feeling.”
― Jack Kerouac

These still long days of August always come with a sense of urgency, a bit of melancholy because August means September and the end of all those spectacular feelings summer evokes…for this summer in particular has been meaningful in ways words simply can’t describe. The mountains are incredible and ask nothing of you than to leave it as you found it. They don’t care who you are, what you do or what you’re looking for. And this place is so damn beautiful I find myself trying not to blink for fear I might miss one second of this sensory feast.

After years of living in the city,we left Surrey behind this summer,made Vancouver Island our home…but after such an arduous move, are taking a break from all of it. I jokingly referred to it recently as being in a ‘City Detox Program’, the clean air pumping through our lungs slowly squeezing out every bit of pollution, the scent of wildflowers and evergreens spinning our receptors into sensory overload and the sheer visual feast of everything around us replacing the din and sight of everything humans create.

Mountain meadow

I find myself giddy at times, in a way I’ve not been in a long time over here!

Although I’ve  called the city home for so long,it’s not me and with every year something deep inside was calling louder and it was never going to be possible to have that quality of life in Surrey, a city whose officials have sorely lost sight of how important that single factor is for thousands of citizens. I feel hopeful at the recent awakening of many residents who are taking up the charge to keep those officials accountable and while I have moved, the internet has not – I’ll still be here blogging regardless of where I am.

For now though, I’m re-connecting with those parts of myself long suppressed by city life. I’m hiking trails surrounded by meadows of wildflowers while the mountain breeze messes my hair and the sun kisses my cheeks with ruby red.Dipping hands in icy streams to cool those same cheeks and doing it all over again. Watching glorious sunsets that fade from fire to jewel tones so fast you can’t even afford to blink…

So be well. I’ll be blogging again soon. For now though, this month is for me. ❤
mountain view

Mountain sunset

16 thoughts on ““Going to the woods is going home.” ― John Muir

  1. have a great time!
    Vancouver Island truly is lovely and I haven’t missed the Lower Mainland at all these past 16 years.

    enjoy your time out of Surrey. Its always good to get away into the forests and mountains.


    1. I will still be blogging and if Surrey needs me,I’m going to be there to help.Cindy Dalglish has risen as a vocal,strong and knowledgeable advocate recently and has moved beyond education issues only. It’s my hope Surrey residents begin to stand for themselves as well. For too long many were not – and are still not- willing to speak up or out. There are some amazing change makers in this city but they need to be supported and encouraged. And all those people who only appear at election time? Silent in between? Need to step up on a regular badis not just when the cameras show up. This is your city. Those politicians are your employees. Keep them on their toes because they only ever act when the pressure or press is kicking at their doors.


  2. I truly hope you enjoy the island as much as I have these past 36 years. Unfortunately, due to the cost of living here, (thanks to the BC Libs.) I can no longer afford to stay on Denman with my shrinking pensions. Just sold my shack here – heading to Nova Scotia mid Sept.
    Spent half my life on the rock, had the privilege of working all over this beautiful province.
    I will miss it – but I will not miss this detestable abomination of a government.
    Look forward to following your blog from afar.
    Ernie T.


  3. Good luck on the Rock, Laila. I always say, if you’re going to make a major move, do it while your family is young. I spent part of my life on and around the Islands as a commercial fisherman, but in my heart, I will always be a mainlander……..not a Lower Mainlander, mind you. The southern interior is my home, and although not all my family lives here, none of them live on any of the islands, and for that I’m grateful. BC Ferries is enough to drive an otherwise sane person crazy, IMHO.


  4. congratulations laila. moving can be difficult but so worth it to move to the island. that is where i am heading also – away from surrey. great place to raise your kids. all the best to your family.


    1. Thank you so much and I wish you the best too.Quite a few neighbours moved over the summer and leading up to it and I know quite a few more are headed out as well.


  5. Welcome to Vancouver Island, Laila. We were born here (65 years ago) and raised our children here. Two years ago we did a cross-Canada trip and although we found many areas that we really liked, there was nowhere else in Canada that we would want to live.


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