Silence is a rare gift when you live in a city of 700,000 people. Every day is a symphony of noise inside and outside my home: the alarm (multiple times if I decide to snooze it), the neighbor’s dog, traffic driving up and down the street, children’s voices on their way to school, and my own feet against pavement as I walk to a coffee shop to work. It’s constant, but I barely notice all of it when it competes with the narrative that’s going on in my head.
When Laura and I began planning our road trip to the Sunshine Coast, I was most looking forward to the quiet and serenity. Our destination was Backeddy Resort & Marina, the self-proclaimed “waterfront playground” on the Sechelt Inlet.
After hours of driving, a border crossing, a ferry ride and a few stops at parks to stretch our legs, we arrived at Backeddy around 5pm. The sun had already disappeared behind us, casting a soft pink glow on the water and mountains in front of us. The temperature hovered in the 30’s, as we eagerly checked in to our rented vintage cabin. We stepped in to find it already warm and cozy, the space heater working its magic and the wood burning fireplace stocked with necessities and ready to be lit.
Almost instantly, our bodies became attuned to nature’s cadence. Feeling our eyelids grow heavy at the outer darkness, we fell asleep early and didn’t wake until almost 12 hours later. As our eyes adjusted to the light outside, we watched the light snow falling, blanketing everything in white. It was the only movement outside, magnifying the remoteness of the location and providing that stillness I was anticipating.
We savored the scene from the warmth of our cabin until the afternoon. Leaving the quiet of our cabin, I immediately noticed the harmony of sounds outside. They were melodious, a sharp contrast to what my ears took in during the day-to-day commotions of city life. I heard water lapping against the marina dock, bird calls as they caught breakfast and echoes of roaring harbor seals in the distance.
Leaving the quiet of our cabin, I immediately noticed the harmony of sounds outside. They were melodious, a sharp contrast to what my ears took in during the day-to-day commotions of city life. I heard water lapping against the marina dock, bird calls as they caught breakfast and echoes of roaring harbor seals in the distance.
The softened noise of our environment relaxed my anxious narrative, and I experienced a freedom that wasn’t present just days earlier. Repose can be challenging, but I know that however uncomfortable, my spirit requires it for restoration. In silence, my understanding deepens. I marvel more. I see connections and resonance.There is more ease. I feel grounded and supported. And I slow down enough to still my mind, only giving attention to the whispering wisdom that remains when I find quiet.
As I experience more in this world through travel, relationships, and my own age, I look more sharply for signs of value. While there are infinite ways to measure what brings value into our lives, I’ve learned to trust that simplicity is often at the root. That which is natural, clear, and genuine. And when it comes to creating connection– be it to a land, an idea, or a person– the same principle applies. Our simple, uninterrupted presence has the highest value of anything we can offer. Just us, being us in our biggest and best way, is all we need to make connections.
When Leslie and I got in the car to drive up a coastline neither of us had seen before – deep into the mountains-meet-water landscape, deep into plummeting temperatures and the thick cloak of nighttime – I knew I was going into our trip mildly underprepared. With travel encompassing my typical day-to-day, I didn’t have all of the gear I would usually bring with me for an excursion into remote British Columbia in late fall. Buckling up and heading north, my fingers crossed for sunshine, we were taken by surprise. Delicate snowflakes floated gracefully past our windshield just an hour down the road, clinging to the rural land among mountainous foothills.
Given my lack of warm clothing, all reason says I should have been in a panic. But for some reason, I just couldn’t be. The snow was simple. It was beautiful. And in that moment, that’s all that mattered.
Given my lack of warm clothing, all reason says I should have been in a panic. But for some reason, I just couldn’t be. The snow was simple. It was beautiful. And in that moment, that’s all that mattered. Not that I didn’t have the exact hat or gloves or headlamp.
I was here, on an adventure with my dear friend, and nature was creating some stunning scenery, almost as to invite us into our trip north. So with car heat cranked on high, I made a personal vow to embrace every simple, beautiful place we could find along the Sunshine Coast.
I marveled at the aquamarine clarity and haunting depth of the Sechelt Inlet, filled with graceful jellyfish pods and scattered with seabirds feasting on mussels.
I spent some quality time among frosted leaves, admiring their sparkle in the morning light and seeing more color in winter that I thought imaginable.
I listened to my incredible friend share her stories, her thoughts, and her dreams– feeling the abundance of time in pauses between breaths that comes only when distractions are minimal.
I did it all without my nice-to-haves. I did it with the essentials. I did it with a mind focused on simplicity. And even coming into our trip with less, I know I walked away with more.
Editor’s Note: Thank you to Backeddy Resort & Marina for their complimentary hosting of Leslie & Laura for two nights of their trip to Canada.