Well here it is, in celebration of my new web platform the creation of my blog on a sunny day in July. Those of you who know me, know that I have many opinions and thoughts on all things Lotusland. I will say this, that when I look back on my life I am lucky that my parents decided to make Lotusland (Lotusland being our region) their home and I in turn have the chance to be born and live my life here.
I am open to thoughtful and respectful commentary and dialogue. Many of you may choose to agree or disagree, that is your right.
I am not 100% certain where blogging about Lotusland will take me but again that is point about the “Life in Lotusland theme”. It will give me a platform to talk about real estate and life in general in our region, but more importantly, gives me a platform to put real estate (as I see it) in the context of the people and the places of Lotusland. For most of us this is how real estate translates into meaning in our lives.
I have been in financial services field virtually all my entire working life and in my opinion real estate is the most democratic of all assets people can acquire. Desirability and livability of a community (amongst other factors) is one of the main drivers of "confidence" in a real estate market. The fact that our real estate is in such demand is ultimately a confidence vote on our region.
Within reason people can choose to live anywhere in Canada or even abroad depending on their circumstances and their desire to do so. Why is it that such a small percentage of the earth's total land base is valued so highly by people?
Which brings me to the theme of my first blog piece on the Lotusland life.
One observation I make is that people who have been born and raised here can have a tendency to take the place for granted and often feel most impacted (positively or negatively) by the changes our region has experienced over the past several decades.
Until I began to travel abroad (and lived elsewhere in Canada for a few years), I was one of those Lotuslanders who could not see "the forest from the trees" (pardon the pun) when it came to the place I called home.
Like many people I knew this was a special place but became complacent in embracing Lotusland. Intellectually, as part of my undergraduate studies at UBC, I had studied climatology and geography so I knew things like only about 3% of the earth's land mass has a climate and biosphere like ours (see Koppen Climate Classification System).
Having read and studied Ernest Callenback's Ecotopia at UBC in the 1980’s I became attuned to "super natural" aspect of the region. Knowledge aside, I continued to be frustrated by things like it rains a lot. Given my chosen field of study I needed to remind myself that "duh" we live in a temperate rainforest. Complaining about rain in a rainforest is like being pissed off at how hot and dry it gets in a desert.
Complacency for me also took the form of not going to the places and not participating in the activities that make Lotusland amazing as often as I should have. Making excuses, like I'll go to Stanley Park next week, or not watching the sunset on your favorite beach or lookout point. As a kid growing up I used to Stanley Park every weekend with my Mom and my Nana (who lived near Stanley Park in West End). Those trips and memories are some of fondest of my entire life. Stanley Park is one of Lotusland's sacred places.
What has always fascinated me the is contrast of us native "Lotuslanders" complacency and attitude was the attitude of people who have moved here by choice and how they feel about Lotusland. At the heart of this lies the reason our region has changed so rapidly and evolved (I think for the better) to the place it is today and how many of the original Lotuslanders struggle to accept we have been "discovered by the world".
Much of region's stunning growth and attraction to others can be partially blamed on the excellent marketing by ourselves, over many decades, of the brand known as "Super Natural" BC with Lotusland at its epicenter. The counter refrain which we constantly hear from many "locals" is look at the problems this has brought with it, housing affordability due to global demand, being one of the most acute socio-economic concerns.