West Coast Sunshine

Aug 29, 2011 by

Pieter and Xander at the parkFrom Shilo’s laptop on Monday, August 29th…

Back on Canadian soil, we drove to North Vancouver on Wednesday afternoon to visit the home of our dear friend, Jill Kennedy, whom James has co-facilitated the Mastery of Self Expression workshop with in Alberta for many years. Jill and her family moved to North Van over a year ago, just a few weeks after Jill gave birth to her second child, Alexander.

I have no idea where the time went, but her daughter Olivia is 4 already! Just “yesterday” she was a baby and now she’s a little lady, and a wonderful big sister to Xander. I was playing with her when we first arrived and – after playing more rough with Susan’s son in San Francisco – I was a little too rough and lost my grip on Olivia while we were playing, so she plopped down on the hardwood floor with a greater thump then either of us prefered. It was an accident, but heart-wrenching non-the-less. Thankfully she forgave me and we both recovered from the trauma quickly. ooopps.

I had not seen Jill since her visit to Calgary in the fall of 2009, so I had not seen her new digs. James has this uncanny nack of showing up in Vancouver just when Jill and Pieter are house-hunting, so when James was there last April (I was still home recovering from surgery), he got to see their future north shore home-to-be and provide moral support while Jill and Pieter were placing their offer on the house! The second time in a row he’d been there for this ritual – talk about a house warming!

James Downie Vancouver skylineTheir home has a spectacular view of downtown Vancouver and the water from most upper windows and the back deck – where we spent lots of time drinking tea, laughing and catching up!

It was a real treat to go for walks with the whole family, dodging the sprinkler, playing at the various parks and picking berries with the kids, wandering the neighbourhood looking at all of the cool architecture. Feeding Xander was a favorite activity of mine!

Olivia and RejeanneIt worked out really well that we were able to visit Rejeanne while in Vancouver – she hosted a Mastery family BBQ & social with sprinklers and a slip-in-slide for the kids! Rejeanne is one of those dear friendships that I got to marry into! She is in James’ Mastery group, so they’ve known each other for years. Rejeanne, this is such a sweet picture of you and Olivia at your BBQ! Thanks for the amazing night!

Plus we got to catchup with long time friends that we hadn’t seen in a while:

John Halme John, I swear you must be my brother from another lifetime! It was a delight to see you and your wife again, albeit briefly! Let’s make sure we connect for coffee and a longer visit in October!

Farhana, it is always a treat to be in your glowing energy. I am so glad to hear that your transition to Vancouver was smooth and that you and the kids are doing so well. You deserve it, my friend.Farhana and Jill Kennedy

When we got home that evening from the BBQ and the kids were put to bed, James, Jill and I got to have a wonderful visit. It was really neat to take the time and share with Jill how profoundly I appreciated the opportunity to work with her as registrar for The Mastery and also what a powerful experience de-commiting from that role was for me. It reminded me how we are mostly unaware of the impact we have on other people. And it made me feel good to remind Jill that we love her, and I’m grateful for the infinite ways she has touched my life. And James’ too.

I teasingly told James that if – on some slim chance – we ever separate, I get Jill in the divorce! James’ response was clear: “Then we can never get a divorce!”

It was a wonderful time in Vancouver, with amazing weather!

We look forward to returning in October on our trek south to Mexico for the winter!