Back in the mid-1990s, when Marion and I decided to open a B&B, we had come home from a long trip to Asia and were slowly re-orienting ourselves in a quiet life on the B.C. coast. Our tiny island had grown since we first arrived in 1969, but still had a population of fewer than a thousand, nearly all of whom were Canadians of European descent, and we missed the vibrancy of Asia. To bring a taste of it to the island and create a livelihood for ourselves in our semi-retirement years, we built a 750-square foot cottage, connected to our own house by a long, glassed-in breezeway. The cottage has its own private entrance, a deck for sunbathing, a huge bathroom, hardwood floors, and vaulted ceilings in the great room with windows on all sides. And the theme throughout, a tasteful touch of Asian influence from the art on the walls to the carpets on the floors.
What we had to offer was not available in most places: pure seclusion, infinite silence, and all the amenities. We had a fortunate location— up on the high ground of the Lake Farm we were completely on our own. No other houses visible. Trees all around. A guest in the early years remarked, “It’s so quiet you can practically hear the moon rising!”
We couldn’t afford to fly to Asia every year, so we hoped that with a name like China Moon travelers from abroad would come to us. They did. When we look back through 18 year’s worth of guest books, we can re-read the names of wanderers from Japan, Taiwan, China, Thailand, Viet Nam, Malaysia, and Korea. Not to mention Australia, Brazil, the U.S., England, Africa, Russia, and any number of European countries as well. Many many Canadians, of course!
We like children, and since our own have grown up (even our grandchildren), we’re always ready to meet new babies, toddlers, and adolescents. They say that staying active both physically and mentally is a good thing— running a B&B demands that you do both. It’s interesting to meet new people, and Marion and I love to see their reactions to an island where the ferry only runs in the daylight hours, where there are no police, banks, traffic lights, malls, high-rises or franchises— where all the roads are two-lane, half of them gravel, and where if you are broken down in the ditch, I guarantee someone will come along to offer help in whatever form is required.
Denman has always been a tight-knit community, somewhat protected from the rest of the world. We hope that China Moon serves as a welcoming bridge inviting more people in to see what a little peaceful enclave like this one can do for your well-being. We look forward to seeing you here.
“Not I, nor anyone else can travel that road for you.
You must travel it by yourself.
It is not far. It is within reach.
Perhaps you have been on it since you were born, and did not know.
Perhaps it is everywhere - on water and land.”
― Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass