Christmas on Vancouver Island

December 31, 2013 · 7 comments

In many ways, it was a classic “Island” Christmas, minus the sand in the sheets and the little paper umbrellas.

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There was photo-worthy exotic greenery, adorned in glistening blossoms of glass, salt-dough, and crocheted silk.

(In truth, I think my technically-hip Dad was taking my picture as I sat in the the pink chair beside the tree in all my Christmas-morning, naked faced, and tousled-haired glory. Said photo will not be appearing in this blog, ever.)

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Native island beauties posed happily against the backdrop of their beloved sky line.

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Nosy tourists could be seen poking around in back alleys…

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… while cousins-in-law renewed ties over adult beverages and profitable, thought-provoking conversations…

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… expanded upon with the interpretive dance gestures common to many island cultures.

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My only sadness is that I wasn’t prepared to capture the subtle rare complexity and beauty of this art form on video. It would have gone viral on youtube.

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This island Christmas marked the joyous return to birth soil of generations now making their own way forward across the waters…

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… while others spoke quietly into the festivities with only their fashion sensibilities and the dulcet musical murmurings of, say, soft-shelled she crabs in heat.

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When you’re from afar, a gaggle of aunts around the hearth makes it all feel like home.

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Whether they were deftly orchestrating traditional fare for the hungry hoards…

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.. or sweetly obliging the paparazzo, magnificent family females are integral to the cohesion of island life. (Some island wildlife was mysteriously illusive: sorry, Uncle Ron!)

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Plus, in the case of one’s paternal bloodline auntie, it can be startling to recognize and reel in one’s own DNA-themed heritage in the form of a lilting eyebrow asymetry or distinctive nose-tip nobility. (See my Aunt Mary, above.)

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Elders assembled in spirit, body and mind, although not necessarily all at the same time or with the same focus of attention.

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But when they did, it was a singular moment to celebrate, as in the blooming of a rare orchid or total eclipse of the sun.

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Another native interpretive dance movement lost to the moment without video… sigh.

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Yes, in many ways, it was a classic island Christmas: regardless of where we had come from, what strange offerings we brought to the table, or even what species we were, all were warmly welcomed home.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Susan January 1, 2014 at 8:37 pm

Just beautiful Kathy. Wish we could have been there to join in the festivities. Maybe next year … xo

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Charlie January 1, 2014 at 4:27 pm

Happy New Year to you both! I am so happy you had time to enjoy your family. Kids have been home here and the house has been joyful!

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Sandi Fentiman January 1, 2014 at 7:46 am

Great post Kas, and your hair looked fine. I believe I was the one that took the picture of Santa by the tree.

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Jane January 1, 2014 at 6:04 am

Wishing you and Rick a very Happy New Year.
Love you and Miss you.
hugs,
Jane and Norm

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Nancy Fellingham December 31, 2013 at 11:10 pm

Without a doubt, my favorite Kathy blogpost … ever. Wishing you many island tribal hugs.

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Kathy December 31, 2013 at 10:45 pm

I was there and it made me tear up! I can’t wait for you to live here. It was a lively Christmas

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