One Reason Why I Live Here

Having spent 7 years away from my home of Vancouver Island travelling Canada and the world, I have learned to appreciate what I have here. No place is perfect for anyone, but when I hear people complain about the rain in the winter or some other such minor inconvenience I have to bite my tongue. I usually try to put on my nice face and say “You should travel more.” or say nothing at all. I have to admit that I too sometimes get cranky about insignificant things which is why moments like the one I had last weekend play such an important role in reminding me how glad I am to have come back here to live out the rest of my life.

So, what does this have to do with real estate? Well… if you don’t enjoy the area you’re living in, then what’s the point of being there? Life us full of choices and opportunities if you can recognize them and then have the strength to follow through with them.

So here is what inspired this latest sobering moment of appreciation for my area and my choice of settling down here:

On Friday, I had finished my work early and my wife had as well. We decided to go a for a short walk before dinner. Piper’s Lagoon is only a five minute drive from my place and after some discussion about which of the nearby places along the waterfront to go to, we decided to go there. If you are local, you will know it immediately, if not there is a map at the bottom of this post. Suffice to say that it is one of the oceanfront parks in Nanaimo.

While we were walking along the short trail, a bald eagle swooped by us eyeing us in the way that they do. No big deal. This is fairly normal around here but still kind of neat to see. They are quite magnificent with their grace, colourful talons and beaks not to mention a wingspan that is… well… a little intimidating when they fly close by. But again, this was no big deal as it’s not so unusual see them up close, especially if you’re in a treed area by the ocean front.

We came to a spot where you can sit on the edge of a cliff and stare out at the ocean without anything but air between you and the water. Past the ocean, or maybe I should say “straight” you can see the coastal mountains of the sunshine coast. Typical stuff around here as well, but still a nice spot to relax. We sat there for a bit and while we were there relaxing, off in the distance I kept hearing a sort of chirping sound that is similar to the sound that a bald eagle usually makes but it was more sustained, and even a little panicked. Stepping out from the cover of the trees I looked up and saw a group of them gliding in the wind. It was hard to be sure, but I believe I saw at least five. Many of them did not have the white head so I presumed them to be adolescent. “Neat.”  I thought, “Flying lessons for the young ones are going on. Must be for more than one family if there’s that many of them.”

But I still kept hearing the consistent squealing chirp that was coming from somewhere in the trees. I was wondering whether one had fallen and gotten hurt while trying to fly or if it was simply still in the nest and basically screaming “What about me? Hey, you guys! I wanna come too! …but I’m terrified!” I figured that if it was the former, I would keep my distance and call the experts who handle such things as there’s no telling what getting involved with an injured eagle that is with its family would mean for me. Upon finding the nest I realized that it was the latter.

My wife, being a city gal, had as far as I know not seen such a thing before so I called her over to the area near, but not threatningly close to, their nest. At the top of a giant and very old douglas fir was an enourmous nest from which a great deal of vocal commotion was arising. In my mind, the translation would have been something like “MOM! MOM! MOM! MOM!” or “WAAAAAAH!! I WANNA PLAY TOO!!” One of the parents (I can’t tell which is which) was flying around the nest eyeing whoever was in it as if to say “Come on! Let’s go!” I have no idea how long this had been going on before I found the nest, but my wife and I stood there for about five minutes before the next development in the story.

The young one took the leap of faith and it was plainly obvious that it was the first time for this one. Why? Well, the downward awkward flapping of wings in a state of total panic while squealing in a way that would most accurately be translated as cuss words AND while doing a slow downward spiral with all the grace of a donkey on rollerskates is a dead giveaway. I lost sight of it during the downward spiral but I think it landed on a branch that was out of view as I saw one of the parents glide by such a spot a few times at this point.

So I got to watch a bald eagle take its first flight and it was pretty neat to watch. Much better than watching it on TV.

My Friday: Worked, then went for a walk in an oceanfront park five minutes from my place, watched a bald eagle take its first flight, went home and ate a meal mostly made of quality locally grown food (there is a glut of wild salmon this time of year) and then drove ten minutes down the road to an eight-plex movie theater (which is past the six-plex) and watched a movie premier. After gas, food and movie I spent less than $20 for all of this. Take that big city.

I’ve lived in the world’s biggest city (Tokyo) for a time and I’ve also lived way out in the middle of nature (in the Queen Charlotte Islands) not to mention a long list of places that are somewhere between those two extremes. This is the right balance for me and part of what inspires me in my work. It’s not hard to sell something you believe in.

Ryan Coffey

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