All the World Can Hold Quite Still

This has possibly been my best-ever summer. I'm quite sure Xavier would say the same. We've been on a six-week island-hopping holiday in the Salish Sea with many friends and family joining us throughout. Beach-combing, tide-pooling, crabbing, canoeing, swimming, picking raspberries, throwing rocks, hiking, biking, and drawing train tracks in the sand have all been daily activities. Xavier has been having a ball chasing after his older cousins and friends. All the playing, fresh sea air and sunshine has been exhilarating and exhausting too, but every day we take quiet time for naps in the hammock, beach walks at low tide and sitting on Nan's Bench watching for whales.

And each day, I try to pause at some point to take a deep breathe and hold quite still. The above illustration is from one of Xavier's (and my) favorite summer books, All the World by Liz Garton Scanlon.

We are wrapping up our time on Gabriola Island, one of the Gulf Islands off Vancouver. This is a special place for us as we've been coming here for six of the past eight summers.  Christian flew with me here on a sea plane for our third date (he was clearly trying to impress me and it definitely worked). We came here to honeymoon after our summer wedding with my two brothers and their families. It was here that we found out we were pregnant the first time, with the baby we lost before Xavier.  Christian's entire family has gathered here two summers, with plans to for more reunions. All this thanks to our great friends Dave and Susan from Vancouver, who share their beach house with us.  The cottage itself, called Gabreeden, is a charming and rustic cabin with an outhouse, no dishwasher or laundry, but it has a wood stove for cool evenings, two kayaks, crab pots and a million dollar view. The following photo was taken by Dave this past weekend of me, Xavier and their four-year-old son James, a beautiful reminder to hold quite still.

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