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Writing For My Life on Protection Island

Sea Plane from Vancouver to Nanaimo
Sea Plane from Vancouver to Nanaimo

When I met Margaret Geaney in Maui this past January at Hay House’s Divine Love seminar with Wayne Dyer and his special guests Anita Moorjani and Immaculée Ilibagiza, I had no idea what was in store for me by my willingness to say “Yes!” to this charming lady.

Margaret told me that her book group would be reading Writing For My Life –– my book of poems – this spring. OMG! Did I hear that right? A book group was reading my book! I was blown away!!! She knew that I was speaking at Hay House’s I Can Do It! Vancouver conference in May and wondered out loud to me if there was any way I’d be able to come join them from there.

And the next thing I knew, this past Monday, I found myself on a 20-minute seaplane ride from Vancouver to Nanaimo, BC with Margaret waiting for me at the dock. We had a delicious lunch at Penny’s Pilapa right there at the harbor front, and then took a 10-minute ferry ride to Protection Island – a tiny slice of heaven with a population of about 350 where most of the book club members live. The lush island is full of artists, writers, musicians, naturalists, scientists….and magnificent gardeners!

Margaret handed me off to Nella, a wonderful woman who took me on a tour of the 1km x 2km island via golf cart.

Sea Plane view of Protection Island
Sea Plane view of Protection Island

She touchingly shared with me that her husband had picked up my book that morning and began reading poems from it to her. We swung by their house and upon introducing me to him she said, “Go on Peter, she’s huggy.” Very sweet!

She took me to the fabulous newly renovated and redecorated Paige Cottage where I’d be spending the night so I could drop my things before heading back over to Margaret’s house in Nanaimo for the book club followed by dinner at Asteras Greek Taverna.

View from front porch of Paige's Cottage where I stayed on Protection Island
View from front porch of Paige’s Cottage where I stayed on Protection Island

What a treat it was for me to be in the company of these wise women, sharing their observations and insights about my book while often quoting particular passages to me that most resonated with them. A special shout-out to Marion: deep gratitude for your tender questions; and to vibrant Valley: I so enjoyed and appreciated our lively conversation. I was truly touched to discuss process and healing; self-indulgence vs service; poetry vs prose. And they were excited for me to share about my new book, Jump … And Your Life Will Appear as well.

After dinner, a bunch of us headed back to Protection Island via ferry and I slept like a baby in the serene surroundings.

On boat between Nanaimo and Protection Island
On boat between Nanaimo and Protection Island

At 9am the next morning, dear Denise took me out on a nearly 2-hour walking tour – a passionate runner, Denise was bummed I didn’t bring my gear with me, but since the seaplane has a very strict weight limit, I only traveled there with the bare essentials. Instantly walking and talking non-stop like old friends, we traipsed on forest trails down to the “beaches”, poked our heads over fences to see many magnificent gardens, and even “snuck” into her best friend’s painting studio! Such an enchanted island, what a treat.

And then before I knew it, Denise and I were in her boat with her husband Mike at the helm, just in time to catch my seaplane back to Vancouver and beyond…

“Have you ever had a Nanaimo Bar?” Denise asked me as I was about to check in for my flight. When I said “No” she insisted I have one before I board the plane so we walked back to the coffee shop and she bought one for us to share! Chocolate and nuts and coconut and other yummy goodness! Woah! What a fantastic send-off after such an exciting adventure.

Eating my first Nanaimo Bar
Eating my first Nanaimo Bar

I was amazed at all the new experiences I’d made myself available for in just 24-hours by opening myself up to saying ”Yes!” to the unknown!

What will you say “Yes!” to today?

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