In 1999 I was living the dream; I made the move to Victoria, in beautiful British Columbia, three long years after my first visit to the west coast where I fell in love with absolutely everything.
Since I was a little girl, my folks have always said I was born in the wrong decade - my tendencies towards long flowing clothes, abundance of silver and stone jewellery, appreciation of folk and classic rock music, peace, love and alternative healing grew as I got into my teens and exploded in high school.
I spent my 16th summer in BC, two weeks in Vancouver and two weeks in Victoria, and it blew my mind. Vancouver was lush, green, excitingly hip. I hadn't expected the ocean and mountains to be so powerful. Athletic and artistic energy pulsed around me everywhere we went. I lived in a VW bus in my sister's backyard and thought I would do this for the rest of my life if I could! I honestly felt I had found my kindred spirit: the city.
To my delight, I discovered Victoria had all these things in a more relaxed, down to earth pace that resonated with me at a deeper level. My uncle and his wonderful family lived in an apartment unexpectedly situated above the rec centre in the middle of a park. I spent hours reading in and tending to the roof-top garden, biking and hiking with my uncle, drinking tea and having long chats with my aunt, playing all sorts of games outdoors with my cousins and eating the most delicious organic, locally grown food. Victoria felt like home; comforting, welcoming, grounded and peaceful. The ocean called my name everyday and I'd walk the path along Dallas road or through Beacon Hill Park, the two most gorgeous places I've ever been. Did you know there are peacocks in this park? Peacocks! I vowed to return someday, it was my destiny.
So there I was, in the internet cafe of the Chapters downtown, creating a new email address that would serve as my identity. I had to choose wisely, it must be creative, mystical, and very "Victoria". Stargazing was born.