This last 9 days has been pure bliss. When I set out to BC I could not have imagined where I ended up. This little island nestled somewhere between Vancouver and Victoria feels like paradise to my nature loving, art making soul. But what is really fascinating is the sense of community a place like this radiates.

 

Just a few interesting facts about Mayne. It’s approximately 21sq km and has a population of roughly 1000. I’m not sure if that number reflects just the permanent residents or includes the part timers, as many of the homes here, particularly on my road, are vacant until summer break. The amenities are limited. There is three grocery stores. Farm Gate has your higher end organics and whole foods, Tru Value is a miniature version of any grocery store I’ve ever been in, and the Trading Post is primarily dry goods. There is a gas station/postal outlet/movie rental/convenience store with one of the three island ATM machines (there is no bank), which would only allow me to take out $40 today. There is a handful of other stores including a thrift shop that is only open Saturday from 10-1, an art supply shop I’m in love with already, and a home and garden shop that hasn’t been open when I’ve been to town yet. There is a Home Hardware that has been super amazing in lending me a high chair and exersaucer for the duration of our visit here. Other than the grocery stores and gas station, mostly everything else is open sometimes Thursday, but generally Friday to Sunday only.

The school, with all of 20 students from kindergarten to grade 8, is separated into two classes. It also holds a babies playgroup twice a week that I plan to visit soon. High school students take a boat ride over to Salt Spring Island. There is a library that I haven’t had a chance to visit yet, as well as a community centre, a health centre, and a fire station. There was one police officer on the island but he recently retired and island word tells me the officers from the neighbouring island are filling in, but I haven’t seen a police car as of yet.

A couple places of attraction I haven’t been to yet but will soon include the lighthouse, and Mount Parke Regional Park at the peak of the island. I’ve started marking off the roads on the map I’ve travelled and I suspect in three months I could easily cover this whole place from end to end.

But better than all the scenery is certainly the people, who thus far have been nothing less than kind, helpful, inspiring and generous in making me feel welcome here. From helping me manage the ferry ride to getting settled in with wood for my stove and taking me for grocery trips, I’ve felt blessed by the efforts people have made to make this journey possible. And here I sit, as the baby sleeps and the wood stove keeps us cozy, feeling blissful that I followed my heart and it led me here.

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