It's been almost two years now since I left Edmonton, AB, and moved to Sooke, BC. Sorry, Edmonton, I haven't missed you at all. I'm totally blinded by love of the West Coast.
I spent most of my childhood living on Sooke Lake Road, near Goldstream Provincial Park. The Dayliner, a passenger train that ran from downtown Victoria up island to Courtenay, would pass us in the morning, and again ride by around dinner time as the train returned round trip. I remember going to the corner store and paying a quarter for a chocolate bar. In times of trouble, I wandered the paths behind our home and hid my fears among the pink Lady Slippers. These delicate wildflowers attracted me, their petal crowns soft against my cheek when I lay down on the needle carpet of the forest floor.
The old neighbourhood has changed, of course, but Humpback Road is still narrow and twisty and beautiful alongside the reservoir. I learned to ride a bike at the bottom of Humpback where it straightens out before joining Sooke Lake Road near the park entrance of Goldstream. I felt the first crush of infatuation there too. The child in me always looks back up to the hills to catch a glimpse of the legendary Sasquatch.
Pacific Salmon are now working their way up the Goldstream River to spawn before they die. They find their way back up parent streams to their home pools each year at this time. Their cycle of life is a reminder to me of the passing of time, and of the season so rich in colour. I too found my way back home, and now live a short drive from Humpback Road. I love driving through the woods that connect me to my childhood. It is there that I first dreamed of being a writer.