Over the past few months, I have been feeling increasingly nostalgic for Salt Spring. Specifically, summers on Salt Spring. Summer is always such a beautiful time of year, and some of my favourite memories took place in the summer. While I was in university, and even in high school, summers where always so busy, but in a good way. I’d be working like crazy, often more than one job to save money for the next year at university. I spent my days running off my feet, then the evenings would be spent with my friends, swimming at the lake, hanging out by the bonfire, walking around aimlessly, or going to the movies. Or I’d spend my evenings with my family, barbecuing on the deck, enjoying the warmth, and just being together.
When I was younger, summers would be spent camping. When I was in elementary and middle school, I think we often when camping 3 times in a single summer. We would often go with other families who had kids the same ages as us and we’d pack my dad’s pickup truck full of tents, coolers full of food, foam mattresses and dad’s “essential” hammock and hit the road. There are tons of beautiful camping spots on Vancouver Island, and over the years, we saw many of them. Hornby island, Pacheena bay, Malcolm island, Qualicum falls, Tofino. All these places have a few key things in common: great campgrounds, close to the water with a good swimming beach, and are great fun for family camping trips. In between these camping trip we would often visit our extended family in Ontario, or we’d just spend our days at home. Eating ice cream and freezies, playing in the yard, taking swimming lessons. My mom is a teacher, so she always had the summers off with us. Looking back, we were incredibly lucky that that was the case.
Summer was always a time of freedom. The rain is gone, the sun stays up later, school’s out, everything is warm, green and fresh. My brother and I would often set up a tent in our backyard in May and sleep out there. To this day, when I smell the fresh spring air and hear the frogs croaking in my parent’s back yard, I think to myself “time to set up the tent!”
A few weeks ago, my brother came home from university and I took an extended weekend to come home and be with my family. The first day I was there, it was gloriously sunny and hot and made me think of all those Salt Spring summers. This will be my second summer spent mostly in Vancouver, instead of on the island. Vancouver is beautiful in the summer and I am lucky to live very close to some lovely Vancouver beaches, but summer is not what it used to be. Summer used to be a change, a break, a move. Now it’s more of the same, but with sun. I still love the summertime, and I always will, but I miss the days when summer meant freedom.