When I first came to Victoria 23 years ago I had expected to be renting a house and garden in the Village, a happenstance occurence: I was not familiar at all with Victoria; but that did not happen.
So the boys and I rented and then owned houses and gardens in Fernwood.
I love Fernwood and put down many roots.
But Oak Bay Village has a library, parkettes, sushi restaurants, grocery stores, banks, thrift stores, pharmacy, galleries, post office, city hall, police station, fire hall.
Fifteen years ago I joined the Monterey Senior Centre and every day I found myself in the Village for the 'club' with its activities .... and the village for its library, sushi restaurant etc.
It made sense to 'settle' in the Village and I am presently 'perched' in a suite 'two blocks from the Village'. The house and garden evolve.
From day one it felt right to be in the Village and the details of the "why so?" have unfolded across the seven months:
I was two blocks from downtown in my hometown of St. Thomas, Ontario. Two blocks from downtown where we had our children and owned our first home in Georgetown, Ontario. Two blocks from the Beaches in Toronto, Ontario where we raised the boys and owned Hill Cottage. The Village ambience is familiar and is my roots.
On my early morning walk I noticed the beautifully carved pumpkins hanging from the lamp posts, wondered who had done them, and thought to check out the Oak Bay News for the information.
The merchants who were open had already swept the leaves from the sidewalk in front of their business.
I chatted with a woman abut the weather and the week or so of fog.
People were carrying boxes of donations into the 'Club' for the Rummage Sale this weekend.
Yesterday a deer had walked across the Avenue on its daily stroll but that was earlier; what am0unts to rush hour in the Village was happening and I imagine the deer have learned to avoid this.
The vine in front of the Italian deli has lost most of vibrant red leaves; the bulbs that city workers planted in the seating area in front of pharmacy by the bus stop are waiting on spring; the scent of bacon frying mingles with the sound I release walking through leaves in the gutter.
Two blocks and I am home. Red house finches and chickadees are at the feeders, a junco strolls along the balcony railing as a mass of bushtits swoop in to the suet.