We’re spending a few days on Gabriola, a ten-mile-long, Gulf Island situated in the Salish Sea between Vancouver and Vancouver Island in Canada. It’s a nice retreat from the world; a chunk of land inhabited by artists, musicians and retired people who read books. A twenty minute ferry ride from the larger island, it has a unique vibe and best of all it’s quiet. I watched the full moon through my bedroom window last night and woke to the melodic sound of song birds. Daffodils, planted twenty years ago when the local decided it would be a good community event, line the roads. Cherry, plum and apple trees are budding. The air is fresh and salty.
We drove to the farm for eggs. Five sea lions played a stone-throw off the shore. White caps and spray covered the chuck as far as I could see. The wind must be at least sixteen knots. Surf pounded the sandstone shore. Yes, it has been a nice trip.
We have no wifi in the cabin. I huddle in one corner to pick up messages on 3G and take daily trips to the local coffee shop to get connected. So here I sit at Mad Rona’s. Gotta love the name. Madrona trees, often called Arbutus, are plentiful on the gulf islands.
My coffee is strong and the pecan square is sweet and buttery with just the right amount of crunch. I’ve yet to order anything else here, because it’s so good. Music plays in the background, loud enough to mut the conversation of people in the room, but not loud enough to irritate. Natural light pours in, through windows on three sides . Pendent lights and fans hang down like sculptures from the slanted ceiling.
Outside the wind curves the top of the cedar hedge, the sky has turned grey, not dark enough to rain, but moody enough for a sweatshirt and maybe even a hat.Three hats in the building. Two toques and one captain’s.
Two groups of people sit in leather chairs by the fire. A couple men chat by the large window. A family eats breakfast at a long table . A couple women lean towards each other animating their conversation with their hands. Laughter. I hear two words, “Ted talks.” I smile.
A man in a ball cap arrives with a large smile and takes his coffee-to-go,
My writing job today is to get inside the hero of my new whip. I’ve dabbled with the paranormal in my stories before, but this is the first time I’ve written a post-apolcalyptic tale. I want him real, but in some ways better than real. Still smiling.
Time to get writing. I hope you are having a wonderful day and I toast you with my mug of coffee.