Years ago, El Bandito and I took a vacation. (Oh, we've taken some since. There was a long hiatus in the dark days of my dissertation, but we know that we need time away from our daily lives, and there's quite a world to explore.)
But on that vacation, more than a decade ago, we ended up on the west coast of Vancouver Island.
We camped at a lovely spot down miles of rough logging road. Right on a pebbly beach, with skillfully created driftwood furniture. Crappy camping food that tasted fantastic, and good wine.
From our campsite, we could watch black bears crabbing on the beach.
And from that campsite, we drove up to Long Beach, Vancouver Island. Which is exactly as it sounds, long.
We ate peanut butter sandwiches on a large driftwood log.
We watched sea lions frolicking offshore.
and later on that vacation, we went to a small gallery on Salt Spring Island.
I fell in love with a print.
It was a lot of money.
Even with the fabulous exchange rate at the time.
I bought a beautiful wood bowl as a wedding present instead.
and petted the gorgeous gallery dog as often as the owner would allow.
and later, El Bandito and I bought the print.
and had it framed.
in one house, it lived on a living room wall.
in our current flat, it hangs on the bedroom wall, and it's one of the first things I see in the morning.
I don't know if that's the exact driftwood tree we sat on, although we tell the story that it is.
It's part of the story of us. of picnics and road trips and bears.
I wake up to that print.
Depending on the lighting, it's melancholy or joyful.
Much like the beach itself, I suppose.
I love waking up to that beach, and hearing the waves in my head.