There are some places one goes to temporarily forget the pressures of the present in order to enjoy the pleasures of the past. Deep sleep might be one of those ‘lotus-eater’ spaces where forgetfulness might be the tonic the doctor orders. The problem with that is that for many of us older types, slipping into such a ‘morphic’ state is not always easy. Some spectre from our tortured past often intrudes in a menacing way to disturb the subconscious rest. This last couple of days on Salt Spring Island has given me another perspective on what might really constitute a better place of rest than just tossing and turning in one’s bed for six to eight hours. My wife and I have been travelling to this prominent Gulf Island at Easter, for several years now, to visit with family including two wonderful grandkids. We have found that this recurring experience of hanging out in this social setting in the middle of a beautifully positioned, heavily wooded estate by the ocean is both uplifting and restorative. Talking to one of the inlaws who has grown up with this property over the last forty years, there is something psychologically subtle about turning up time after time to visit and stay at this cottage. While it is certainly a retreat bar none, it also has the therapeutic power to induce a kind of low-level amnesia where one focuses on the wonders of one’s surroundings at the exclusion of all other worries. No need to double-down here as one kicks back and enjoys an unobstructed view of Active Passage from two thousand feet above. In the course of my time in this Shangrai-La, I was finding myself nodding off in front of an fire, entering into uncomplicated chitchat with friends, playing with grandkids, eating delicious meals, and reading some great books such as Auster’s “Brooklyn Follies”. When that didn’t suit me, Belle and I jumped in the car and drove down to Ganges to take in the liveliest Saturday market imaginable, attend an Easter egg hunt, or visit some old friends from earlier times. In reflecting on these events, I can now truly appreciate what my friend was saying about life on the island. While I enjoyed each occasion for what it did for me at the time – introduced me to something nice, relaxing, funny and informative – they offered, more importantly, a chance to escape the cares of the world across the water and enter a new one for a short period of relaxation and fun. I was so disengaged that I was finding it hard to remember ‘important’ info about my other life: names, numbers, appointments, ideas. As an islander aptly pointed out to me, while Salt Spring living is not for everyone, it does present a unique opportunity to disconnect from big city life and get spiritually recharged. While you trade in mainland culture for a smaller islandic version, you get to enjoy a slower pace of life that treats you to moments of forgetfulness, nice food, and colorful characters for a brief stint.