Though this letter was penned in April, it was held at the request of the letter writer to avoid promoting the destination during strict travel restrictions
We came to our house in our favourite place on earth, oblivious of the plea by council that discouraged non-permanent residents from visiting. Self-contained, we made only one visit beyond our home that exposed us to anyone in the community, a stop at Bluebird Marketplace. That one brief interaction exposed us to the sunshine of a supportive little community that gets only stronger in adversity.
Yes, we read in SPIN about the economic hardship.
Yes, it seemed like walking through a ghost town, all the stores and restaurants shuttered.
Yes, it was unprecedented to climb the hills and ski the Nordic trails alone.
But the sunny woman behind the till at Bluebird reflected the generous spirit of a community whose members are determined to look after one another. She had eye drops I wanted – but discouraged me from buying them.
“There was something better,” she said. She gave me a phone number for a pharmacist. Clancy O’Malley, whom I’d never met, dropped off the product at my door late Sunday evening, without even seeking payment in advance. How is that for thoughtfulness and generosity? A vendor determined that her customer gets the right thing, not just sell the available thing. A professional who makes house calls to strangers.
My wife and I set out in the woods, expecting a rough, if memorable last-season Nordic ski. Someone we may never meet had groomed the trails. The late-day sun shone warmly as we skied, more thankful than ever for a wonderful community, in a beautiful spot, where strangers care for one another, reflecting by their actions gratitude for the place they live.
Here’s my rough poetic celebration of all this:
Sweet Little Mysteries
Hands unseen had groomed the forest track.
We glided in the quiet, to our hearts’ content.
The sun, it sprinkled warm Olympic glory;
We PB’ed our route, strength increasing, never spent.
Animals invisible had left their silent tracks
That spoke of forces so much greater than our ken.
Were they smiling as we traversed their land?
What furry creature now clambered from its den?
A village roused by viruses shuttered all its stores
While mystery enwrapped each microscopic sphere.
But sweeter mysteries unleashed by the pandemic
Overwhelmed and intermittently dismissed the fear.
West Vancouver and Sun Peaks