Today when we woke up it was raining in a Biblical fashion. Weirdly, my heart didn’t sink. I found the rain to be kind of soothing after so much glaring sun. And it reminded me that I would use my instincts when it came to this trip with The Girl to Salt Spring Island.
We got into Ganges at about 9AM for a light breakfast at The Tree House Cafe again, kind of a go-to spot, as mentioned. The rain had stopped and the sky was a melancholic blue-grey, a colour it would retain for the rest of the day. I love days like that. Today, it occurred to me that this is in fact my favourite kind of day; not to “glarey”, not too hot. It was, in fact, the perfect day for a stroll.
Our waitperson mentioned that one cool thing to do would be to check out the cheese-making farm to the south of the island. So, off we went to see the chickens, and the goats at Stowell Lake Farm, where Salt Spring Island cheese is made from those animals, pasteurized, cultured, packaged, and sold internationally.
But it was still a walking day.
So we beat it to Fulford Harbour, grabbed some picnicky things, and headed off to Ruckle Park. The drive itself is magnificent, my favourite part being the heritage farm that precedes the entrance to the park itself. It’s been very dry lately, with “extreme dryness” conditions for those who are thinking of lighting camp fires. So the expanse of the farm is golden, accented by wooden fences, and a skirt of trees.
When we got to the park we had lunch and took our walk along the craggy shoreline, watching the boats and ferries, and avoiding the paths and the voices of other sojourners. The Girl wanted to play a game about a deer called Emily, and her new friend Frederick the Raccoon, an itinerant person with a love for eggs, and no home. She, as Emily, told me that she was an orphan, her parents killed by mountain lions. But she, as Emily, had made the best of it, inviting old Frederick to come and live with her, seeing as they were both lonely souls in the woods. The Girl is only now beginning to write down her thoughts, and to take up regular reading (we bought one of the Redwall novels in Ganges before setting off …). But, I find that her sense of play is her primary storytelling medium. When she’s inhabiting a role, the stories just roll out of her.
We headed back for groceries, then a little bit of quiet time back at where we’re staying. We both need downtime in order to get the most out of a day, which in this case after a meal, an ice-cream cone, a walk, and a trip home for a quiet evening lying next to each other, reading books, and playing with the iPod (I had my phone, reading articles about the loss of Robin Williams and Lauren Bacall, who both have died since we arrived here).
What we’ve had here is a lot of close quarters time, enjoying each other’s company.