Runaway Soul: Impressions of Home

It happens like a storm. Sometimes suddenly, out of nowhere. Sometimes it works itself up for a bit, brewing, bubbling just at the surface... then explodes into the atmosphere. However it starts, however it forms, the outcome is always the same. Two wild women, with boxes and containers full of treasures... laughing. Creating. Carefully placing. Crafting. Free spirits let loose by the sea. It is always the same, and entirely different.

This time it started with a treasure hunt in a backyard garage. Old reels, old telephones, keys, an heirloom teacup, a first box for oil paints... a first camera. Treasures. Possibly junk to some. Definitely treasures to a Runaway Soul.

At times it may seem that everywhere else in the world is the most beautiful place on earth. The different cultures, the amazing traditions of people from anywhere but here. Looking at photos from Venice, you see gondolas, beautiful stonework, a city built on water. You see old people walking along the street arm in arm. You see laundry hanging about the city, you see light pouring in from corners of archways. You see lovers passing over bridges. You see beautifully dressed women seemingly floating around the city. Barcelona, cafes, taxis, fashion, street performers, people reading on benches, or just enjoying a coffee watching people pass by. Marrakech ... different again. Fragrant markets, smells of exotic spices, pastel buildings, blankets hanging from windows, old men sat in their window seat watching the taxis whirl by. Everywhere, distinctly different. However, I wonder... how many of the people of Italy, Spain or Morocco see their home as something that is so hauntingly beautiful and exotic, as it might be to a Canadian. Do they look at their surroundings and truly know that they are living in someone's fantasy. They are in our dreams.

We are living in someone's fantasy also. You are. Do you see that we have culture, and traditions, and are covered in history. Do you see it? It is hard to see it all around us, where we are. But, it is here. We are in it.

Campbell River is a city built on the sea. We grew up fishing, outdoors, we have fishing rods and hockey skates, and wear fashionable gumboots and hand knit touques. We don't use umbrellas but it rains all of the time. We have the Tyee Club right here in our home town, dating as far back as 1896. Some of us grew up hunting for Elk and deer with fathers and uncles, know how to filet a salmon with no bones, and know our way around the woods by logging roads. Our highway is named the "Old Island Highway", we are surrounded by lakes, and rivers and mountains and from most places in Campbell River the sea is only 5 minutes away. We have streets named after fish and a beach named "Miracle Beach". Travelers from all over the world come here, to experience what is every day life for us. We are in a dream. Someone's dream. We may not see ourselves as anything special at times, but I can assure you, having been all over the world. We are different. Unique. We wear rain jackets, and know about tides and storms and the sea. We have beach fires as often as possible, take our dogs for walks in beautifully constructed hiking trails. Wake up at 4:30 in the morning to take kids to hockey, and park at the beach to 'storm watch'. We will pack up our world in a heartbeat to go camping, sometimes only 10 minutes from our homes. We also have an amazing first nation population in Campbell River. With stories, traditions and culture so heartbreakingly beautiful I never tire of hearing about the different masks, dances and songs. Some of us are lucky enough to have been a part of First Nations Potlatches and Feasts. Being witness to ancient stories and songs being sung by the cherished carriers of the traditions.

We are lucky. While treasure hunting we see beauty in the things that may not feel special to some. But to us, they are our stories. Our history. We are so excited to share our Impressions of Home, with you.

I'm only going to share a very sneak peek few right now, as it will eventually be another series of "Runaway Soul" greeting cards and other wild creations. But for now, here is what we feel, see and know to be home. We have more to share. Always. Runaway Soul in action.