Peter’s Blog

Rev. Dr. Peter Holmes

Peter Holmes, BA, MDiv, DMin is the Minister of the Congregation at Yorkminster Park Baptist Church.

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Sointula Blessings

In the midst of a west coast heatwave we visited Malcolm Island off the north-east shore of Vancouver Island and stayed in a seaside cabin outside the village of Sointula – a world away from all things overheated. In fact the island almost has its own little micro-climate.

The season of foggy mornings which the locals have long referred to as the month of Frogust arrived a few weeks early this year. The fog burns off by noon most days, but while hiking the 4 km Beautiful Bay Trail the forest canopy offered a continuous refreshing drizzle. The forest was coloured in a thousand shades of green as it weaved along the shoreline. The sound of the waves was in the air though glimpses of the Queen Charlotte Straight were few and far between. The pebbled beach below the trail is particularly popular with orcas often seen surfacing to rub their bellies on the smooth stones. The beauty, wonder and mystery that marked the way made the long journey seem less so.

Malcolm Island was settled more than a century ago by Finns pursuing a utopian dream. The very name Sointula means place of harmony. We all need Sointulas in our lives. The family, the church, the nearby park, and the company of friends should all be places of harmony offering an emotionally and spiritually refreshing micro-climate along life’s way. How blessed we are by the sointulas of life.