Cathedral Grove

Cathedraltrees.pngHighway 4 cuts across the interior of Vancouver Island, twisting through the mountains.  It’s been twenty years since I’ve passed this way and yet, when the endless rows of trees open to reveal the stillness of Cameron Lake, with mountains in her backdrop, my reaction is the same:  the sheer beauty brings tears to my eyes.

Of course, I did not have my camera ready, but we park at the entrance to Cathedral Grove and enter the enchanted rainforest, armed and ready to capture the glory.  Determined to get to the lake, I follow the trail to the left, only stopping briefly to ogle the trees whose presence lends their name to this place.

treefaceThe reverence of the grove has not altered, although there are now trails clearly marked, and fenced walkways to keep visitors on the path.  My memory, from so long ago, is of women, on a spiritual quest, wandering freely amongst the giants, finding quiet corners in which to meditate.

I slip off the path and stand at the water’s edge and contemplate another time, another woman, whose life would be forever changed upon return from this sacred place – a marriage of seventeen years about to end.


CameronLakeThis lake is still the same, although her edges are more cluttered than I’d recalled – fallen trees and weeds blocking the approach.   I forgive her this, recognizing that I too have changed, my edges marred by storms’ debris.  She, however; remains steadfastly at peace, her essence immutable.

Immersed in the green majesty, I understand now the magic of the grove: how fantastical imaginings seep from the crevices beneath mossy covered roots, and how a woman, with heart open, might have experienced magic here once. I wonder if I’ve lost that capacity: to be inspired by the unknown, the invisible, or if the need for the supernatural has passed me by.

growthfromdeathEverywhere I look there are symbols of death and rebirth – life finding roots in what has ceased to be.

Nature has so much to teach us, her lessons timeless and irreproachable.

Cathedral Grove continues to be a mystical place.

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Permission to write, paint, and imagine are the gifts I gave myself when chronic illness hit - a fair exchange: being for doing. Relevance is an attitude. Humour essential.

7 thoughts on “Cathedral Grove

  1. This one really moved me when I opened it yesterday … I had to come back without distraction for deeper “listening” to both your words and my memories of that area. Mystical, absolutely. Your story of being there with others to meditate is powerful. I can sense the vibrations. What gives me pause is your questioning if you could have that sort of experience again. And could I? Perhaps the answer is no simply because it wouldn’t be “new” – if we recognized it, the magic would not occur. But … allowed to sit quietly for an extended period, I’m guessing something of value would rise within me. This post motivates me to find “my” place/time for meditating in Nature … away from neighborhood & traffic noise … I had such until the Red Corral Ranch closed its gates last year. I need to find a new place! Thank you for this beautiful post, for nudging me to seek the mystical.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am glad you found something in the post that moved you – there are few places that have such significance for me. I have changed from that woman of twenty years ago – maybe a little more polished, maybe a little edgier – but my time on the island is certainly stirring something. Thank you for thoughts, Jazz. It means a lot to me.


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