It's been said that timing is everything. Good timing or bad timing can be the make-or-break factor in all kinds of endeavors, contributing to heady success or crushing failure. Timing and luck are unquantifiable and intangible but oh-so very helpful when they align in one's favour.
The past couple of years have been tricky, to say the least. For some it's been downright devastating. Most of us could never have envisioned a global pandemic or comprehended its multi-layered impacts on our lives. It has taken place in tandem with weird and often destructive weather - from dangerously suffocating heat, to unprecidented deluges of rain, to what we weather-wimps in southwestern Canada consider to be devastating cold. Record numbers of people have been laid low during wave after pandemic wave of infections, work has been compromised, supply chains have been damaged, and transportation challenged by weather related road closures, covid related shut-downs, and a host of other problems. People have been migrating from city life and establishing themselves in more rural places in record numbers, and I count myself among them.
What better time, say I, than to do something momentous? Why not take on the life-altering project of building a house!? And for added excitement, build it on a small island - a daunting logistical proposition at the best of times. Just go for it!
And so, for many, many months, my house-building project has been my life. It started as an idea that I put down on paper.
Then it ever-so-slowly emerged from a gigantic hole in the ground. The day the walls went up was surprisingly emotional.
The house is now inching towards completion. It has walls, and windows, and doors, and a roof, and I'm already seeing the finished abode in my mind's eye. Inside, it is light and airy thanks to the tall windows that face southwest and lofty ceilings that make the space seem bigger than it truly is.
In the summer, after a productive day in my art studio, I'll be able to gaze at my vegetable garden from the kitchen window or enjoy some late afternoon sunshine on the deck. In winter, I'll curl up by the fireplace with a good book.
Best of all, it's on that little piece of the Southern Gulf Islands I fell in love with some years ago. The new house is a stone's throw from my studio and it's tucked just in front of the little old yellow cottage where I've been living throughout the building process. Happily, when I evacuate the cottage for the comforts of the new house, that old friend I've called home will live on as expanded studio space.
While my timing for this epic project could have been much better, the many hair-pulling challenges and teeth-gritting frustrations - not to mention the absolute wonder of seeing a fuzzy idea gradually solidify into an actual building - will some day be just memories. And even so, these days when I step out of the cottage and make my way through the mud, past the piles of debris, and step through the door of the as-yet unfinished house, I know how lucky I truly am.