Introducing a new periodical column to SPN! Sooke PocketNews has been lucky enough to strike up a relationship with a relatively new newcomer to Sooke, who also happens to be a wonderful writer and photographer. In this periodical column, G.K. Syndey will share her explorations and discoveries of her new neighborhood, through her whimsical and humourous insights.
Please join us in welcoming …
Through the Lens of a Newcomer
by G.K. Sydney (photos and column)
So….here we are with a brand-new column for the Sooke PocketNews. Please come along with us as we embark on a slightly off-the-wall series of musings. In doing these pieces, we really hope we’ll be able to make you see our beautiful island, and particularly our Sookie piece of heaven, with fresh eyes. We want to help you see all the sights that are about to be put in front of you with a new view. We want you to feel the awe and know the amazement and joy that hits us when we look around and gasp. And why do we feel like this?
Because we’re new here and we absolutely love it.
And so we begin this adventure. We’ll attempt to document some of the fabulous things that we are discovering and further, try to describe the effect it is having on us. You live in an incredible place. We know that you know that. But maybe, given the trials and struggles of everyday life, you’ve not had the time and energy to look around you lately. Maybe it’s become normal. Maybe you’ve even stopped looking because life is getting you down. Or, alternatively, you’re reading this from a distance and wondered what South Vancouver Island is really like. If any of this rings true, take a minute and come along for the ride. Revel with us in our surroundings, partake in our experiences and share our absolute pleasure in them. Come on, let’s do it. Let’s look through the lens of a newcomer.
But before we proceed, maybe some introduction is in order. That is to say, who the heck are we? Who are these people who dare to tell long time residents about their own home? Well, I would humbly like to say that my husband and I are transplants. That’s right, we are of the group who have come from other, much less desirable, locales and have been fortunate enough to settle in Sooke. As a matter of fact, in our case, we’ve come from a REALLY different place; as different as the moon. That place is the Canadian prairies. Omigod. Could this be the same planet?
For instance, when we arrived in September 2017, we kept waiting for winter. Yep. Everybody here kept saying it was the worst winter in a long time. That it never gets this bad. That they could hardly wait for spring. Whaat? We kept waiting too, only we were waiting for winter to start. November. Not bad. December. Pretty good. January. Hmm, still ok. Where we had come from, everybody was stuck in six feet of snow. It was 42 below with the wind chill. There were whiteouts, snowbanks, blizzards. You wouldn’t consider going out without the cord to plug in your car, at least two or three window scrapers, a very large shovel, your forty-below socks and your good ol’ Sorels. So, we wondered, when would we have to bring out the longjohns? Where would we be able to use the snowshoes that we foolishly brought along? And where, oh where, did we pack the neckies and trusty balaclavas (do any of you even know what that is?)?
Well, we waited and waited and then suddenly, amazingly, winter in Sooke was over and it was spring. Spring! How did that happen? Flowers, more hummingbirds, GREEN GRASS! In February and March!. This could not be possible; it was an aberration, a one-off, a freak of nature. Surely frost and snow and ice and frozen toes were still coming? After all, they said this was one of the worst winters ever. But when exactly did it get bad?
It didn’t. It just got warmer. And nicer. And, impossibly, even more beautiful. And then spring turned into summer and Vancouver Island, especially our beautiful south coast, became paradise. And wow, we now live here. What a miracle.
Stay tuned, more to come in April!