island pride

(Writing the Waves is my stream of consciousness journal while living aboard my new home, this vintage, 57-foot wooden–rubbed with love–sailboat, situated in the salty B.C. air along the coast of Vancouver Island.)

DAY 15; Saturday, Nov. 16

This day of local protest culminated in a march to Member of Canadian Parliament John Duncan’s office as one of 130 events staged across Canada during a national day of action with the sole intent to: Defend Our Climate. –Courtney, B.C.

I think it must be the unique nature of island mentality which makes one more aware of their environment. An island has a finite mass . There’s  no new shoreline being added. Unless you’re talking about a volcanic island such as Hawaii where over time, eruptions–the newest earth on Earth–sprout inches each year to existing geography. In another ten gillian years I hear, there’ll be another island or two next to Kauai; but Vancouver Island is not getting any bigger. The only increasing mass is the tax humans place on it. I should know, I’m nothing but another body soaking up some of the finite magic the isle possesses. I love it here. I can see now why all those I’m befriending who live here, treat the land they tred upon with low impact steps. It’s the backyard that we all share.

Everyone seems to recycle. I see less litter here than most places in the states. One of my great friends here is a man who spends leisure time picking up roadside trash, for fun, spiritual empowerment and simple civic minded good will.

Another has every concievable recyclable item of trash, washed and stacked neatly by the sink. She wouldn’t think of allowing a plastic sack to enter the house,

“What, you think I want to collect plastic?” she says. She goes on to explain how you don’t leave your motor running, you refill your old soap jugs with organic detergents and when picking mushrooms, you always leave at least one chantrelle behind out of every bunch you find.

Not a single gas station allows for the lazy trigger lock on gas pumps. I’m guessing it cuts down on over filling, spills, and unattended pumping.

In Wyoming, many drivers rely on the automatic nozzles. They free-up your hands so you can smoke and tinker on the still running motor. I love my home state, but the only thing that’s recycled faithfully there is the big oil mantras supporting the likes of Halaburton, Shell and Enron.

Vancouver Island is a special place. I only want to help somehow, not squander the natural resources I find all around me. I’m learning to curb some bad habits, appreciate the slower pace of island living and the bare bones accommodations that come with living on a sailboat in winter.

It’s becoming my island too. You can keep Austin weird but I hope to help keep Vancouver Island as clean and sustainable as is possible.