Growing Up with Tides and Trees: A West Coast Childhood

Growing up by the ocean

Growing up on Salt Spring Island

Today was a beautiful adventure. We set out on a trail through the woods to a beach we’ve only been to once before, back when Z was a very small baby, snuggled up close in the ergo, asleep almost the entire time.

growing up on the West Coast
She was so small and still the last time we were here.

If you’re looking for this Salt Spring Island beach that’s accessed by a 20-ish minute trail through the woods, you park in the small parking area just after taking a slight right onto Southey Point Rd off of North End Rd where it forks and turns into Sunset Rd. Cross the Rd and head down the trail to find the beach that’s brimming with crabs, shells, and other signs of sea life. We even saw some geese bring their little ones out from nests where the forest met the beach. (If you’re looking for more fun things to do with kids on Salt Spring Island, read my suggestions here.)

salt spring island beach and sailboat

The time that’s passed since the first time we tread this path was so readily apparent. I could see the mark of time in the way my daughter navigated the knotted roots and steps made of stones. I could hear it in the way she chattered about the things she was noticing – the sights, sounds, and smells so pungent in my own memories of growing up enveloped in the tall trees of the forest. How much is learned in only a couple short years.

growing up with tide pools

On every adventure like this, I’m reminded of how lucky we are to be where we are. To have the luxury of stepping out the door and into the forest, or onto a beach, whenever we want. To be able to give my daughter a childhood enriched by the sand and the sea. To make a wealth of memories blissfully suspending time amongst the trees and the flowers. There, in nature, I feel balanced. I feel a sense of life and peace and positivity that can’t be recreated anywhere else. I want to give my little one the opportunity again and again to experience that, and to grow into herself as a part of this big, beautiful place where we live.

growing up by the ocean

No matter where we ended up, we would have found the beauty and wonder of childhood. I don’t doubt that one bit. The most amazing memories can come from the places you least expect. Still, I can’t help but thank my lucky stars each and every day that our dreams of a wild childhood, with tough soles from scrambling over barnacles and arms strong from climbing up trees, have found their place in reality.

growing up in the forest

What does growing up on the West Coast mean to you?

I’d love to hear your experiences and the pieces of life that were impressed on you during your own growing up here, or elsewhere, and how the connection to the environment of the place helped to shape who you are. Comment below, or connect with my on social media. I’m on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, and on SnapChat @TheBigToDoList (go ahead and click the hyperlinked words to head to each of my accounts and get to know each other). If you liked this piece and would like to keep an eye on what’s been posted on this blog, you can opt in to receive a short weekly update via email and never miss another parenting tip, motherhood musing, early learning provocation, eco-friendly giveaway, or whatever else I tackle on my Big To-Do List.

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Growing up on the West Coast

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