For as long as I can remember I have known that I am adopted. Never was it kept a secret from me and for that I am grateful to my family. I always wanted to know where I came from and to discover my heritage. In my early twenties I got that very chance and how exciting it was.
Over the past twenty years or so I have visited a very small town on Malcolm Island just off of Northern Vancouver Island in the Province of British Columbia, Canada. Sointula is steeped in a rich Finnish history and that is where I find much of my heritage.
Sointula began as a Utopian Society in the early 1900’s which was short lived. Many people left and some stayed on to continue to build the community of Sointula. There is a wonderful Museum on the island that details the history from the early beginnings of the community.
I remember the first time I visited Sointula back in the early 90’s. It was so amazing to finally know where the spark of me began! Even though I did not grow-up there or have any knowledge of the place I could still feel a connection to the land. The beauty of the island is so apparent. Eagles are always around along with the Ravens. One of my favorite sounds is the call of the Raven – such a distinct sound. Whales are commonly seen there and on one part of the island is a beach where they go to rub. I hope to one day be witness to that.
At the Northern end of Vancouver Island the weather can “change on a dime”. One moment it is sunny and bright, the next clouds roll in and the wind begins to blow. I find the light in Sointula can be so amazing and the sky seems so big. You can watch a storm front fast approaching across the channel.
How nice it is to travel down the main road in Sointula and not another vehicle is in sight…clear sailing. You never know who you may meet or see down the road. If quiet and solitude are what you’re after it can be found there. Time to get back to the wonders and beauty of nature. Feel the sense of Spirit from the land and in the air – absorbing it in and allowing the peacefulness to calm your soul. Nothing makes me happier than the sound of the wind through the trees. It moves me in a way I cannot explain. It reaches to the core of my being, clearing and recharging my spirit and soul – Nature’s music to my ears.
The beach is full of round smooth stones shaped by the constant crashing of the waves. Driftwood washes up on the shore creating a beachcomber’s paradise. The remnants of what used to be a thriving fishing community in days gone by can be seen all around.
During one of my visits a few years back I went for a hike on Mateoja Trail. The trail goes through part of an old homestead from the early 1900’s .
The Finnish have a word “Sisu” that means strength and perseverance and much more. Although I do not know a lot of my Finnish heritage, I feel that I have “Sisu”. We all have it regardless of where we come from. There are many different names for it, such as, strength of character. Know that no matter what happens in our lives we can make it through anything if we look to the strength within us. We are never alone on our journey the light is always there.