Im convinced that as soon as we become familiar with something, we begin to take it for granted. Take your mate, for example. Did he or she make your heart go thump thump during the early years of your relationship? That relationship has probably done at least a 90-degree turn lately. He or she hasnt changed but maybe your perception has dulled a little. So it goes with everything around you, especially your home place and your immediate environment.
My dad was a great believer in taking a trip away from home once in a while; a break from the usual, so to speak. Even when we were very poor we would take some affordable holiday, such as a canoeing or camping outing or perhaps a short trip with our old truck to someplace a little different. After we returned home we saw our house and yard with fresh and appreciative eyes.
This winter we drove south for a couple of weeks to Southern California to take a most enjoyable break, whilevisiting friends who live down there. This was good because, not only did we see a totally different environment, but also another kind of lifestyle. However, you can probably guess what happened to our perception of our good old North Island.
The first thing we noticed after crossing the border was how the pace of life slowed down and people seemed to have more time to talk. How do you explain this phenomenon? Is it because the massive population of the U.S. means they have to be more efficient in dealing with large numbers of people and that efficiency means the personal touch goes by the wayside?
Compared to California, B.C. is an empty land. It was so nice to come back to empty highways and miles and miles of miles and miles; back to the green on green of Vancouver Island.
I always enjoy the drive to and from Campbell River butthis time, in coming home from far away, I was especially struck by the beauty of Nimpkish Lake. All North Islanders have to drive along this lake on their journey south and, no doubt, all of us take the beauty of this drive for granted.
There are just a few rare places in Canada that have this kind of drive with the Karmutzen Mountains as a backdrop for the lake. Not high, as mountains go, but very immediate; right there, rising straight out of the lake. With snow-capped tops most of the year, they give us post-card pleasure as we drive by.
I did this painting of Nimpkish Lake and the Karmutzen Range a few short weeks ago from a spot just 11 kms. from home. Am I lucky or what?