I write this post on my last night here in Victoria, as I prepare to sneak away for a few unexpected (and hopefully glorious) days on the waterfront in Courtenay, BC (on the Northeast coast of Vancouver Island). I haven’t written too much since I’ve been here in Victoria…I think because, well, in all honesty…it hasn’t been my favorite city or my favorite stay.
I feel unfair in saying this, because it really is such a sweet and beautiful place.
But my arrival did not begin smoothly and the ride pretty much remained bumpy the whole way. I’m sure that things like the noisy accommodations, the car break-in, the location smack dab in the middle of downtown/Chinatown, and the horrible traffic has had much to do with my irritation. So much here to stress me, so little to connect.
There’s pain in the air here; shuffling in streets and connections not made. There’s screaming and honking and begging for change. There’s dragging, there’s barking, there’s drinking.
I avert my eyes, I hold my breath. At times, I literally feel my heart rate rising higher than it has in months. Making me realize that a significant (and very unexpected) learning that I have gained from this adventure is that I am much more calm and contented in small towns than I am in big cities. Funny, because I’ve always thought of myself as a “city girl.” In fact, I had originally planned a longer stay in Victoria because I had expected to feel an overwhelming desperation for “big city” living at this point in my adventure. Ah ha, quite the contrary.
Anyway, I do leave Victoria in a state of gratitude for the lessons I’ve learned during my stay:
For making me realize the impactful difference between little boxes and open spaces.
For showing me what it’s like to feel trapped between concrete slabs, after having danced between lakes and lands.
For forcing me to endure the shocking sounds that have penetrated my silence and solitude.
For allowing me to recognize the importance of all of those previous months in tiny towns, for it was only through those experiences that I was able to compare…and to know.
And…for providing me with a huge collection of some of the best cafes I’ve ever seen, for inviting me to watch two plays (at Langham Court Theatre and Belfry Theatre) that were brilliant in every respect, for the candy bars, pastries, and waffles that left me especially thankful for the many gyms that provided me with free quality workouts, for always offering me ketchup or mustard with my breakfast burritos, and for giving me so many wonderful day trips along the water. Thank you, my bittersweet Victoria. Take care.
And now, to the coast and into nature…to breathe…