As a citizen of this beautiful country and the place I am proud and happy to call home I have this desire to plant my feet on the two outermost coasts of Canada — one the furthest point east on PEI and the other the furthest point west on Vancouver Island. And so, Will, here I am crossing the furthest place west off of my bucket list. Dad and I and Finn travelled by car and ferry to the west side of Vancouver Island, to a place “where the rainforest meets the sea” in Super Natural British Columbia. Those two slogans have captured the very essence of where we were perfectly.
We spent a couple of days on Mackenzie Beach near the bustling little town of Tofino, not surprisingly loving and appreciating all the fresh seafood and at the same time surprised at how abundant the surf culture is there. It’s such a remote area where there is a surf shop or two or three and a fish and chip shack on every corner. I’m not naive enough to have thought there would be no surfing… after all it is the big wave side of the island, but holy cow, Will… The. Water. Is. Freezing! All. The. Time! I crossed off my bucket list a walk on Long Beach where we dipped our toes in the cold Pacific Ocean. This beach known by storm watchers in the winter and surfers the rest of the year is the furthest one can go before the Pacific Ocean eats up land. As I stood there I was reminded of two things. One, the next landform is Japan, thousands of miles away, and two — that you are pretty darn small when you stand beside the ocean where the next piece of land is Japan.
Mother Nature is definitely the boss here and sometimes I think we all to need to be reminded of the respect she commands. It was cool (ok, cold) and it had rained (heavily at times) but we managed also to find a window here and there where she gave us a beautiful blue sky and some sunshine. That coast line is known for its raw beauty, for the storms that roll in off the Pacific and for the array of clothing one must own if you want to spend some time there. Rubber boots and a warm, rain jacket are a definite must in that part of Canada and if you’re a surfer… well, you’ll need a wet/dry suit made of thick black rubber to cover every part of your body other than your eyeballs and your nostrils.
We spent 9 days, much of it, rolling along the highways in our vehicle, listening to music and a few downloaded podcasts, stopping to pick up coffees (and timbits for Finn) at the no shortage of Tim Horton’s along the way. We stopped in Kelowna and spent some time with your Uncle Jim, and in the Shuswap, too, to see your Auntie Mindie rounding out the new sights with familiar ones where we made many memories with you over the years. So many happy times we had together, Will. Those memories still bring tears as they were just the very best of times.
Our adventure to the west coast is behind us now and as we head east along the TransCanada nearing our home in Redwood Meadows I’m also reminded that there is no place like home. The memories that abound there in our home and in our community will always make the little place we call our home so very special. It was an awesome week away and all along the way I felt you sitting happy and tall on my left shoulder (where I’m told the boy angels sit). I love that wherever I go you come along. In my heart and on my left shoulder.
I love you, sweet boy. Like a bus on a long beach on the furthest place west where the rainforest meets the sea in the country we proudly get to call our home. And then like that same bus parked in our driveway in Redwood Meadows where the basketball net meets the cul-de-sac.