It will come to no surprise to most of you that on this blog, "art" may imitate life. Mike needs few words to communicate what he's thinking. I, on the other hand, love words and use many more a day than I should. Where Mike tells a story with pictures, I love to tell stories with words. Brevity is his strength - not mine - as I'm sure our story will tell.
We have been in BC for nearly three weeks now. Slowly our house feels like home. With each load of laundry and meal prepared, the feeling of home establishes itself a little more and our roots go down a little deeper. You know how every home has its own smell? Well when we walk in the door, this house doesn't quite smell like us yet - but every now and then I catch a scent of us and I like it. It grounds me and reminds me that home is anywhere we are together.
The girls have done an amazing job of transitioning. They have rolled with every punch that's come their way and have jumped in feet first. As we were driving home from East Vancouver on Sunday, the girls all remarked on how easy it's been to move. Surprisingly easy. "This wasn't nearly as hard as I thought it would be. It feels like we've lived here forever" were the words we heard. Mind you - they haven't started their new school yet - life still feels a little like a holiday, but I have high hopes for them.
We have enthusastically embraced all that the Lower Mainland has to offer us. We made a committment to each other when we first came - that unless the weather is horribly bad - each day after supper together we go out exploring. We all feel like we don't want to miss a thing. I am continually astounded with the availability of recreational opportunities for families here. We live in such an "active" place where people are moving their bodies and breathing in mountain air and treading on paths in a way I've never seen or experienced before. Most of these things don't cost you a cent - there are hiking trails on Burnaby Mountain 10 minutes from our house, great beaches on the Burard Inlet just as close, and amazing parks, bike paths and playgrounds everywhere. I sometimes wonder if it's just the excitement of moving somewhere new, or if I moved to Winnipeg with fresh eyes if I'd feel the same way about life there. Somehow, I think BC is different.
Our neighborhood park - Confederation Park - is a perfect example of this. I've never seen a park so alive with people before. On any given night you will see several large groups of fiesty Italian seniors playing Bocce ball with fervor. An elderly Chinese man may be doing Tai Chi in a quiet corner near the gardens. Huge groups of friends and families are eating together. Toddlers are running through the spray park and shrieking with delight. Men and women are walking and talking as they round the track that's situated in the middle of the park. School age kids and their parents are at the playstructure. A middle aged man sits and reads a book from the Library that is located right in the park. It is truly a meeting place for all facets of this community. I've never experienced something like this before. It's a picture of community in action and I like being part of it.
One thing that has struck me over and over since we've been here is just how incredibly multicultural Metro Vancouver is. Just the other night we were at the playground and we counted 26 kids playing. Of those 26, there were only 6 caucasion kids - of which 3 were ours. This is a simply beautiful thing. I love being in a place where the music of so many other languages plays in the background to your life. I value having my kids spend time in a place where the faces they see do not look like theirs. When the windows are open at night, the sound of 3 or different languages spoken by my neighbors makes me aware of big this world is and how very small I am. I welcome it all.
There is time and space here for me. There is a quiet phone and a door that mostly stays closed except for our family. There is room to breath and fewer people to please. There is a yard full of weeds and concrete, but no urgency to clean it up because I'm just renting - thank you very much. I like this season of being invisible. I can watch and reflect and think little of how it appears. School and the pressures that come with it loom in the near-future, but I will enjoy the freedom that today brings.