It's early morning on the Queen of Alberni ferry. Mount Benson is receding behind heavy black clouds. Against the whitecaps on the Strait of Georgia, it is a study in charcoal.
I want to bring you a sense of the natural (and some unnatural) history of a place in time. A special place but not, I fear, for much longer. Beyond the brooding storm, at the base of the mountain, lies Westwood Lake.
Twenty-five years ago Robyn and I bought a wooded homestead there, on the water's edge. We brought home a Lab Akita puppy eight years later. Her name is Shiva.
This is a chronicle of the seasons on Westwood, told in photosynthesis, heartbeats, and prevailing winds. Pitched battles of love and terror are in play here. Slowly the chainsaws and developers are extinguishing the life forces of what makes this place unique, but the pages ahead of you are still a safe refuge.
This is for you to remember us by. The tree frogs and swamp lanterns are here. So is a Tai chi set in the vineyard's snowdrifts, and a glide down through the thigh high ferns on the ridges. Robyn and Shiva and I will carry you. Have a pleasant journey.