A Coconut Moment

May 5, 2014

In June of 2011, a lot changed in my life.  It seemed every pillar/foundational category of my life (health, relationships, family, career) all stepped on ripe banana peels and fell down tall spiral staircases.  I can honestly say that it was the darkest time in my life, and finding motivation and inspiration was exceptionally difficult.

Looking back, it was also the biggest turning point in my life – one that came with the decision to do music full time.

At that point, I was gigging around a bit here and there, and had tried my hand at busking on Granville Island, more for love of the atmosphere than anything -particularly the Ferry Docks and the Market Courtyard.  My Dad loved the creme pies there…..However, when I left my previous job to do this, playing at Granville Island essentially became my life line, and there were times when that was so challenging it was scary.

My hat goes off to full time buskers, as you truly need a solid shell, and a deep deep determination to make it work.  In my mind, this is the most challenging performance forum, and if you can master that context, you are well equipped to take anything on.

This post, on the other hand, is not about busking.  It is about the wonderfully caring and perceptive people that exist in the world, and a recent happening inspired me to share this.

One morning in 2012, when I was in a really difficult headspace, I happened to be busking at 11am in the Market Courtyard at Granville.  During my set, I saw two people walking by, drinking out of a coconut.  This was amazing to me, as that is one of my FAVOURITE things to eat/drink.  I mentioned something mid song to the pair about where they got them, as I wanted to go get one if I earned enough that day.  They happily told me, and went on their way.

Near the end of my set, I was floored to see them reappear, a coconut in hand with a straw sticking out of it, which they gently placed near my open guitar case……………………

I was stunned at the kindness of this gesture, and at that time in my life, it meant more to me than I could ever explain.  In that single act of thoughtfulness, they launched my spirits into such a warm and positive place…it gave me the drive to get out of one of the deepest funks I have been in, and spurred me on to achieve some incredible things.   I will remember that moment for the rest of my life, and refer to it often as my “Coconut Moment.”

One of the pair, Bianca Kempe, creator of an amazing entity Doze, became one of my greatest friends.  We actually don’t see each other that often – a few times a year if that, but she’s someone that has always been amazing to connect with.   She is changing the world in so many ways, and always inspires me to do more.

Last week before heading out to Vancouver Island for the next segment of my walking tour, I decided to go play at Granville Island one last time, as my license to play there was expiring on May 1st, and I wasn’t going to renew this year. I played for  4 hours that day under the beautiful sunshine, and loved every minute of it.

Right near the end of my last set, who do I see?  Bianca, who I hadn’t seen in a year, walking out of the crowd with a coconut in her hand, straw sticking out, and just as before, placed it gently near my guitar case.


I started to mawl…..that is my made up term for manly bawling…haha….the kind where you can’t control the coming forth of tears due to a surge of powerful emotions, but you try nonetheless.  Especially when you’re singing amplified.

So, for the second time in my life, I was graced with a Coconut Moment.  It left me with a deep seeded, revitalized happiness to know people like Bianca are out there, and that she keeps doing the amazing things that she does.

It’s spectacular how far one thought and act of kindness can go.  Doesn’t take much to positively affect someone else’s life :).






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