Happy New Year everyone! I have a really good feeling about this year. 2010 just feels like a good number not to mention I turn35 this year and Beautiful Birth turns 5 (watch for upcoming events).
So to begin our New Year, we decided to go on an adventure and explore a new place in this beautiful valley of ours. Youbou. The name does not do this community justice. It is on the shores of Lake Cowichan and is absolutely beautiful. We found ourselves a little park by the lake and let the kids run off some post Christmas energy. Unfortunately, the rain clouds opened up and despite the muddy buddies, we were getting very wet and cold.
Just as I was about to haul the troops back to the car, a woman came up to me and we started chatting. She had two young children herself, but left them at home due to the weather. She told me about giving birth in our community as an immigrant (she was from India) and then invited us to her home for tea. Now, I don't normally go to strangers homes for tea, but it was such a sweet offer and we were all cold and wet so we couldn't say no.
This invitation reminded me of when I was 5 and my dad and I were on China Beach on a day very similar to this one. It was rainy and cold and very gray. I remember wanting to go home when a young woman came up to us and invited us back to her tent city (she was a hippie squatting with many others on the land). We went with her and I remember the smell of Chai tea and the blue light cast by the tarp. We sat there that day drinking our yogi tea with these people who to a 5 year old seemed like magic.
This past New Year's day proved to be no less interesting. While we went back to a home, not a squatters camp, our new friend made us Chai tea on this very cold west coast day. As we talked for the next couple of hours we would learn that she was a Tibetan refugee, born in a refugee camp on the boarder of India. Her mother was still there, unable to leave. When I asked her if she had ever been to Tibet (pictured above), she said no since she was on the Chinese government's wanted list. Turns out she spent many years working for His Holiness, the Dali Lama. Her work included being a nurse for Tibetan orphans whose parents had been killed by the Chinese government. She has spent her life traveling the world and somehow ended up in Youbou.
What an amazing start to the year. Discovering a beautiful little town on the edge of a lake surrounded by the mountains where a remarkably courageous woman lives with her two children and her husband. An incredible woman with an infectious smile, who invited us into her home on a rainy New Year's day to sip Chai tea and tell her story about being born a refugee and practicing the message of love in places where it would be impossible for most. It's always so interesting when you head out somewhere new, you just never know where it will take you.
I wish you a year full of love and many roads filled with adventures and maybe even a cup of Chai tea or two.