“That’s the key to our life- forgiveness and letting it go. So just leave whatever it was, we are all human, just keep going and be thankful. There is so much beauty around us and so much of it we just don’t see, there’s a curtain there, but it’s beautiful and it’s wonderful, its glorious.”
These are the words of our loving host mother in Kelowna. Set up with the family of a friend, we were offered “home”. A home cooked breakfast, tea wrapped with homemade tea cozies and conversations about the intention of the day, detachment, left us buzzing with inspiration. We are learning to see the beauty in all the people and places we encounter and every person that stumbles upon our path offers more powerful lessons. The wisdom of strangers, more often than not, the wisdom of women, is the greatest gift we are receiving on this journey.
We spent our time in Kelowna admiring the beauty that West Coast nature has to offer. All of the most desirable amenities we don’t get in our great big city back in Toronto. It all began at a Lavender farm (garden, field, store) I don’t know what to call it, but Okanagan lavender slipped us into la la land. As we scrubbed salty lavender over our rugged road trip hands and relaxed to the homemade essential oils, we basked in the glory of pampering that got lost on the road. A labyrinth of a garden, a wishing tree and an endless landscape stood in front of us pairing the lavender fields to the rolling hills to the edge of the sea.
Our host mom guided us from the Lavender farm to Mission Hill Winery, a breathtaking example of architecture and delightful wine. An Icelandic sculpture exhibit had planted meditative looking silver statues across the expansive vineyard and for a brief moment the sun emerged and shined for us.
Dramatically, we rushed to the car, grabbed a pink yoga mat, a tripod and our camera. We knew the sunshine would be short-lived here on the West Coast. I kicked off my shoes, socks and sweater, threw my yoga mat between a row of Mission Hill grapes and saluted the sun. For the next ten minutes, the sun beamed down on me passionately and I flew through a beautiful “vino & vinyasa” practice. As I lay resting in savasana, the rain began, in a slow, cheeky fashion, to drizzle down upon me. I laughed. I laughed at the perfection of natures timing to shoo us off the vineyard grounds and into the winery itself. Slightly damp, the local Santa Claus, Tom, offered us a tasting of the Okanagans’ finest. As we sipped wine with our host mom we celebrated the community, the culture and the local farms we were able to support.
Our dreamy day got a lot less dreamier as we drove away from the Okanagan (sigh) to Whistler. En route, we were caught in clouds of fog and speed limits that made our hearts roar (120km/hr- thank you very much). It was a long, cold, rainy and miserable ride to Whistler, a place that hosted a powerful visceral experience in our beloved Shannons past.
In tune with our theme for the day of detachment, we had come to Whistler to let go. To feel, face and undo some of the deep memories we often pack down so far we forget that they are even there. At first, everything kept us hating on Whistler. It was a torrential rainstorm and colder than it had been all trip. The 6:30am yoga class we woke up for was met with locked studio doors and the wifi was out due to the storm. It wasn’t until the next morning, as we strolled through the Whistler Village amidst very few other folk who found themselves here in the off season that all of the stuff that drove us mad cruised to the surface. Tears were shed at the base of Blackcomb and as we cruised away from Whistler to take on the Grouse Grind we knew that something that was aching to be released all these years, finally was.