A trip to Gabriola is something I've wanted to do for a long time. Graham works on Gabriola Island; he has many stories that he tells about the beauty of its beaches and the rural quality of the Island.
Gabriola Island boasts some of the most spectacular beach walks I have ever experienced. The beaches are sandstone; as such the formations on the beaches made me feel as if I was walking in the presence of some very wise figures...from a distance, some looked as if they were in conference. The waves have formed amazing little pools filled with seaweed and sea life...I could have sat and contemplated each pool for hours...they were infinitely fascinating.
This Island, with a population of about 4,000, has a strong sense of community. We were greeted with smiles wherever we went; upon arriving at Silva Bay, we wandered through the Farmer's Market that sets up there on Sundays. We arrived late; many of the Vendors had already left or had decided to enjoy the long weekend elsewhere.
But it was a great experience nonetheless. Gabriola has been called the Isle of the Healing Arts. It is the name of Gabriola's Guide to the Natural Health Practitioners on the Island, a small booklet explaining each member's area of healing expertise. As we wandered through, we noticed one of Gray's Reiki students, Joanna Horton, who has opened her own studio...Angel Hands Therapy. I had never met Joanna, but instantly I could sense her innate peace and kindness. Joanna is an intuitive practitioner and it showed.
Viva Kiviloo, a Certified Reflexologist, sold me some of her handcrafted lotion that she uses on her clients. I had the choice of Chocolate Peppermint or Vanilla Spice. I tried both; the chocolate one made me want to start to nosh on my hands, so I chose the Vanilla Spice. The last thing I need is a constant reminder of how much I love chocolate!
However, just around a corner, Leigh Ann was selling her Yummy Licorice. Oh! My gosh! The taste was unbelievable! This is Leigh Ann's own recipe...the ingredients are molasses, organic wheat flour, licorice root and anise, each piece covered in powdered sugar. Leigh Ann donates 3% of all her sales to Old Growth Forests in BC. I bought three bags...and I have a feeling, as much as I love licorice, that I will be in contact with Leigh Ann again...in the not so distant future.
Krysta Reed, a Reiki Master/Teacher, of Sacred Healing, was giving a treatment to someone, in a peaceful spot under a spreading tree. As I watched her work, I thought how much I would have liked to be on that massage table, with the view of the Bay and the boats that were anchored there. Under a tree. I could not think of a more peaceful way to receive Reiki.
Krysta gives Burmese Massage, amongst other courses and workshops; I quote from her pamphlet..." a relaxing, unique and deep full body massage, that awakens energy pathways and relieves physical tension." She had just attuned her young son (I forget his age, but he must have been eight or nine) to Level 1 Reiki, I think she said. It was difficult to hear, in the midst of the hubbub of the market. She told us she was moving to Qualicum Beach in the near future; she was such a positive person, it would be great to see more of her.
This trip to Gabriola Island was Graham's idea; he wanted me to see the places he spoke of at home...the beaches where he sometimes meditates at lunch time, the colour of the water...a warm, sweet blue...and the Rocks and Boulders and Trees and Eagles that inhabit the place, allowing human beings to reside and live amongst them. I understand now. Gabriola has an age-old energy...there are many, many ancient spirits there.
The view from Twin Beaches boggles the mind...from one side of the road, you see the mainland in the distance and on the other...Vancouver Island. It was a hot, sunny day on the Canada Day long weekend. Parking, towards the end of the day, was becoming difficult to find, but when Gray and I arrived, the beaches were deserted, or nearly so. On a stormy winter's day, there would be no other place I'd rather be.
The Island has a way of enfolding one, holding one to its rocky bosom and warming the insides. I suspect the winter storms can be awe-inspiring...the Rocks and Boulders and Trees all speak of them...but again, that is my favourite scenario...howling, shrieking wind and pounding surf. To experience these clears my mind, opens my energy centres and balances me. It is the best type of holiday I can think of.
To live on Gabriola Island would not be the easiest existence...there are no services other than electricity, which means septic systems and wells and cisterns. Some roads are gravel. Power outages in the winter are common, sometimes for days. The ferry system must be dealt with on excursions off the Island, keeping one to a schedule.
But in spite of these drawbacks, I could easily live there, with the Rocks and Forests. Beside the Ocean. Listening to the age old stories told by these spirits, soaking up the powerful energy that still resides on Gabriola Island.
Can you imagine?