Another book tour completed and I have come home with very special memories of the Gulf Islands and the old and new friends I met. On the left of this photo is the beautiful shawl given to me by Linda and Joyce Williams of the Squamish Nation at the Squamish launch last November. Whales of course. And there were even whale cookies made by my friend Brenda and her daughter Anna.
There was lots of time to play – a tour of the Salt Spring Cheese Company, hikes on Salt Spring, including this one to Burgoyne Bay to see the Welcome Poles carved by Cowichan master carver, Harold Joe. They stand on the site of a former village – Xwaaqw’um – where Indigenous longhouses existed for thousands of years.
Waiting for the ferry, we came across this exquisite calypso orchid. Tiny, close to the ground. Not easy to spot when you’re following the sounds of eagles and songbirds and looking up. But once you see one, you’re smitten and you remember to look down.
People love to read on the islands and they read books – real books. And they have real bookstores. I stopped in at Galiano Island Books, a warm inviting space, and left with books written by authors who were featured at last year’s impressive Galiano Literary Festival. The owner of the bookstore, Lee Trentadue, is also the director of the festival.
After my presentation at the Galiano Public Library, Lee invited me to present at the Galiano Literary Festival next February. I am thrilled to be invited and look forward to returning. Lee, who has a very creative way of seeing the world, suggested Whale in the Door could be a musical. I’m right on it, Lee!