I remember as if it were yesterday. We were all sitting in a circle on the floor at the teacher’s feet as she opened the book “A Wrinkle in Time” by Madeleine L’Engle. As she started the words “it was a dark and stormy night”, I felt chills run down my spine and from that moment on, I couldn’t wait for story time in Mrs. Cook’s third grade class. From quantum time travel through space to walking through the wardrobe in C.S. Lewis’ “The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe”, she painted pictures in my imagination with her melodic words that would convince me into adulthood that magic really can, and often does, happen.
As any of you who visit us regularly already know, I am a big fan of a good story. If I am not at the Hollow I can usually be found perusing the wares of my local “used book” stores. But today’s story doesn’t come from any particular book, nor is it polished to perfection and perfectly presented for us to merely consume. It is unpredictable. It is fluid. It is whatever we say it is.
Thank you for coming along on another visit to the majestic Newcastle Island, in Nanaimo, B.C., as we continue our running series “Island Hoppin’“. Repleat with mythos and folklore all of its own, it is the perfect spot to go looking for a great story.
Always in search of inspiration, and rarely at a loss for it here on Vancouver Island, I frequently find myself staring out over the ocean in quiet contemplation. It is often in these quiescent moments, when only the breeze and your own heartbeat can be heard, that it becomes clear that each and every moment of life is a page yet to be written, each day, an opportunity for a new chapter.
And though the path is seldom clear, courage and curiosity combine and we take a few more steps forward in excited apprehension as it unfolds in tiny increments before us. Some of us run, while others meander, but we all make our own way along as we decide when to turn right or left, when to stop and listen, or when to take another by the hand and let them lead us for a while.
Sometimes though the road ahead may be dotted with ominous shadows, it is not until we stand tall in the darkest moments that we are truly able to appreciate the sunshine. It is in those lessons that we learn to keep writing, to keep putting one foot in front of the other, in the eternal pursuit of the next grand adventure waiting just beyond the next bend.
And sometimes we are lucky enough to share in the stories of others, though they may not be written in the same way as ours, or even in the same language. And as the words blend and join together, everyone’s story becomes a little richer.
There is no greater story than the one that you write each and every day. Only you can say what comes next, so go out there and pen your own tales. Turn over every stone, grab every opportunity, slay a few dragons and save the princess, stand in your cupboard until you finally find Narnia. Just never stop dreaming, never stop writing, and most importantly, never stop chasing the magic.
I know that our story is made better by the great friends who share it with us. Each of you are, to us, an invaluable part of the story of Toad Hollow and we appreciate your friendship and support more than we could ever express. We look ever so forward to sharing many more great adventures together!
Until next time!