Sooke is Amazing

by Alanda Carver

donating fruit to Sooke Region Fruit Tree Project

Sooke is the most amazing place! Ever since I arrived here in 1987 I have been struck by the fact that Sooke never fails to provide you with what you need.

In the beginning it was the small things - I arrived here with a University student's possessions so I needed furniture and a job. Everything arrived as required and before I knew it I was working and establishing a life. Even in those first few months I would comment "isn't it amazing how this place seems to provide everything you need". 

As the years went by I had many life experiences - some extremely challenging. In 1990 I was partially paralyzed in a car accident. Sooke provided me with the people and tools I needed to heal my body. It took me over 10 years but eventually I was able to take a yoga class at the recreation centre. I cried when the class ended - making it through that class meant that maybe one day I could reclaim my life. Once again Sooke provided.

Three summers ago I was finally able to return to work for the first time since 1990. I took the money that I made from working and went to yoga teacher training. As soon as I finished my training last summer I wanted to give back to the Sooke community that had given me so much. The first idea that came to mind was to host a yoga camp. I asked the other Kundalini Yoga Teachers from Victoria to donate their time and energy. They all came out to Sooke and together we provided the opportunity for people to join together to experience yoga. It was so enjoyable that all the teachers dedicated themselves to volunteering again this summer.

We chose a date and location and started getting the word out about our yoga camp event. Registration went extremely well and over time we had plenty of people agreeing to come and camp. Then, with two weeks to go before our event, disaster struck - our original hosts could no longer accommodate our camping plans - it appeared that we were sunk. But once again Sooke came through with flying colours!

Out of the depth of my panic the perfect solution appeared - Ocean Wilderness Inn opened their doors to us. They moved their guests around to other rooms to allow us to meditate at 4:00 am. They created a beautiful eating/cooking area complete with linens on the table They gave us the use of every space and every room they had available. They provided a lovely grassy area for our yoga and we camped beside their beautiful gardens. Sooke people donated tents to use in case of rain and everything came together beautifully. Of course I should have known that it would - this is Sooke!

One aspect of our yoga weekend is a practice called seva - seva is "selfless service". We ask our participants to volunteer their time just as the teachers volunteered - everyone gets a taste of what it is like to give to others. I asked Lori Le Count of Ocean Wilderness Inn what our students could possibly do to help her out at the Inn. We needed to repay her gracious hospitality. In response we received a list of possible duties. Saturday we got to work. We swept together, weeded and harvested fruit for the Inn. Everyone was smiling and happy, glad in the knowledge that we were helping these lovely people, Lori and Andy, who generously took us in when we had nowhere else to go. 

Kundalini yogis performing seva
A few hours later I was talking to Lori about our seva. She mentioned that she was donating most of the fruit that we had picked to the Sooke Region Fruit Tree Project, which is run by Sooke Food CHI.  This project collects excess garden produce and distributes it to those in need. Upon hearing about Lori's generous donation, I smiled, of course she is sharing her abundance I thought, this is Sooke and Sooke provides people with the things that they need! Thank you Lori, Andy and Sooke for being so amazing!

In gratitude,
Alanda Carver

#1-2745 Anderson Rd Sooke BC V9Z 1G2

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