Thursday, November 18, 2010

winter shore

I've lived on the West Coast for over eighty percent of my life, but this is the first winter I've spent outside of a town or city. My understanding and appreciation for the region is increasing with every darkening day.

As the days grow shorter, a quiet, sombre atmosphere is settling in. There's an otherworldly, ancient spiritual feeling in the trees and along the shore. I've felt a similar vibe once before, on Haida Gwaii, but the feeling was way stronger there. On those islands, when you're walking through the forest, or along the windy dunes, it almost felt like the place was watching you.

Here, I feel the same sense of smallness that I did on those Northern Islands. As the animals hole up for warmth and the leaves fall off the alders, more ancient, everlasting things stand out in stark relief. Red Cedar and Douglas Fir tower overhead - the only living beings that can stand tall against the wind and rain of the Pacific Coast. The stones grow a slippery black coat algae, like they have done for thousands of winters, and will continue to do for a long time after I'm gone.

I can see why the people who lived on the coast were so into spirits. That shit is walking around fo' sho'. I wonder if those spirits still live in the cities and towns? Were they driven away with the plants and the animals? Or are they just too hard to notice through all the noise and lights and distractions?


  1. yeah, if one goes out in the city during a power outage, maybe after a snowfall, there's something there, fer sher. That's what I love about the island, though, it's so easy to find those serene places.

  2. Good point. I know what you're saying.

    I miss you guys, Ogawa. I hope we get to see each other sometime soon.