Saltpsring Island is an idyllic place. Located just off the coast of Vancouver, halfway between the largest city in British Columbia and the capital of the province, it seems like it's perpetually in another world, another time zone, or another style of life.
I spent large amounts of my childhood visiting a grandfather who lived on Saltspring Island. My family would bundle ourselves into our vehicle, drive to the ferry terminal, and then enjoy the public transportation cruise to this little rocky outpost in the Salish Sea.
On one trip to the island, years later, I challenged myself by taking only one camera - my 6x6 pinhole camera. I wanted to embrace the slower pace of time that seemed to be one of the hallmarks of life on Saltspring, and I felt that doing honour to it required a camera that required the same kind of pause, slow, and contemplation.
Sitting on a rock in Ganges Harbour, I could feel that slowing of time. I could swear that just outside this island, time continued at its normal, frenzied pace - full of business people making business decisions for business success - but here, on Saltspring, life was more concerned about the colours of the setting sun than getting ink on paper.
As if I needed evidence of this, the seaplane dock seemed to be perfectly still and restful, with an airplane silently waiting for the next time "business" called. Only the ghostly trail of a tender, shuttling from a moored sailboat to the dock next to the grocery store, disturbed the calm quiet of the ocean and the evening.
Saltspring will always be a place of contemplative refuge for me.
Life has continued on its rapid, changing pace. My grandfather is no longer on the island or with us at all, and people I used to spend so much time with no longer come here with me.
But it is still a place where I can go, and feel a weight lifting off my shoulders, sometime between when I get on the ferry in Vancouver and when it docks in Long Harbour or at Fulford.