Dreams are the fuel for goals. It’s that desire to see our dreams come true that drives many of us to do the things we do in life. No matter how odd or strange a dream may be to someone, the beholder sees something personal and meaningful. Mrs. Toad and I have a dream like this, one we’re not sure will ever come to life. Sometimes it’s the dream itself that is important, giving us a little bit of extra encouragement to take on life and make it all it can be. To try to reach just a little further. To fly a little higher.
Our deeply rooted love for Vancouver Island and it’s architecture and character is by no means a secret. There is a distinct flavor and feel to the island, and we find it expressed in our architecture, particularly buildings that have historical and heritage significance. St. Andrew’s Anglican Church in Cowichan Station is most certainly one of these buildings. A heritage church well over 100 years old now, it finds itself in a state of disrepair, but even with this being the case its wonderful personality and spirit still shine through.
How does this apply to our dream, I can hear you ask? Well, my friends, the lovely Mrs. Toad and I would love to get our flippers on this place to convert it into a home with an external photography studio. This would serve several purposes. The first one being our deep desire to live in an old character church like this. Beyond that, there would be the obvious reduction in my daily commute, taking something that finds me on crazy busy highways spending about an hour each way down to a quick 5 steps to get from the front door of our house to the studio. And, there’s plenty of parking.
But really, it’s all about the character. In this second shot of today’s post we can see the detached bell tower, and a close look reveals the bell is still there. How cool is that.
Kids would love to visit us at Halloween, and we would love to be part of weddings and other celebrations that would find a facility like this to be perfect. After coming home from this shoot, we spent hours processing the photographs and talking about how wonderful it would be to live here. There’s little wonder that we are made for each other as we both talked over each other in hurried excitement, trying to imagine living life here. Hours flew by and our hearts were full of hope and joy.
Even the gate itself reveals a story if you spend time with it. We just love how the bricks were used in the stonework to create crosses, a wonderful and authentic touch to the church itself. You can’t help but think of the craftsmen who worked here as part of the community with a terrific sense of pride, and how all these little touches add so much to the overall feel.
Sure, time has not been kind to the building and we are sure many people who see it see an old and dilapidated building. We see something entirely different. Years of weathering, use and love have all left their mark on St. Andrew’s, but with some resources I am sure it’s all restorable. This obviously isn’t a project for the faint of heart or those with light wallets, but we see a canvas here, a piece that just needs some care to bring it back to the beauty and glory it once so proudly exhibited.
As Mrs. Toad and I made our way around photographing the building, the clouds began to part, revealing a bright and sunny look at this side of the building. The incredible colors in the siding really bring these scenes to life, we find, again being perfect examples of traditional Vancouver Island architecture.
A view from the front yard, showcasing the incredible colors in the tall maple trees that call the valley home. A close look at this scene reveals a No Exit sign by the power pole, adding a certain element of humor to the immediate setting.
Just before leaving for the day, we took one last walk around the premises, taking in the lovely vignettes that present themselves everywhere. The fall leaves add a wonderful element of tension and loneliness to the scenes, revealing treasures that appear to be long forgotten. Yet everywhere we find signs of life, signs of visitors and people coming to spend time with loved ones. It’s a bit of a dichotomy, but so is life really.
Thank you so much for joining us on a story of whimsy and hope today, we really appreciate it. As always, we love to hear from all our visitors so please feel free to leave us any comments you may have. Until next time, my friends!