Thursday, January 2, 2003

I'm looking out this morning over a churning Queen Charlotte Channel. The waves have been whipped up by a wind storm that is blowing out, having lasted the better part of 12 hours overnight. There was no damage and the power stayed on - by some miracle - but the wind and rain was unbelievable. It's not like me to wake up in the middle of the night, cowering under my blankets and hoping that the trees remains standing, but that's what happened.



This is a classic pineapple express. The wind is straight out ot the southeast, coming ahead of a low pressure system that rose form the wtaers off northern California earlier this week. The air is warm - as I write it is about +8 degrees - and the rain is heavy. There are bands of rain and clouds going through now as the squall line of the storm passes over us. We typically get wind warnings for storms that pack winds of 50-70km/h, but I am certain that last night's winds topped 90km/h and perhaps even higher. This is what is referred to as "storm force," and these winds can do serious damage.



THis storm was in stark copntrast to the day I had on New Year's Eve, when I had a chance to head down to Cape Roger Curtis by myself. We have been down there a lot lately. It's really, in many ways, the spiritual centre of the island for a lot of people. To get out to the Cape involves a 25 minute hike that starts high and goes down, giving one the impression that one is really descending into something. Going deep as it were. Alder forest at the CapeImmediately, as the trail levels out, the serentiy of the forest becomes overwhelming. It's a mixed forest, with large groves of alder and huge clumps of sword and deer ferns mixed with wester red cedars, Douglas-firs and grand firs.



The trail, which is an old road, winds through this forest and along the shore, past a little beach to the autoimated lighthouse at the Cape Trail to the Capeitself. That's where I plonked myself for an hour or so, watching a raft of a couple hundred surf scoters flying back and forth between Tunstall Bay and the Strait of Georgia which opens up to the north west.



The swell from the Strait crashes on the rocks, and as I was sitting there it occured to me that this is a very old soundscape. In fact the sound of water against the shore has been heard uninteruppted for at least 10,000 years here, since the ice cleared from this point of land and the The lighthouse at the Capeshoreline took on the shape it has today. And before that, the sound of waves on shore is older than life itself on earth, older than any of the ears that have evolved to hear it.



Such intense conptemplation and connection with old old history is not out of ordinary at the Cape. For me, the very sound of the word "Cape" implies a windswept headland, stuck out into the elements, buffeted by primal forces.



It was a phenomenal way to end the old year and look forward to the new one. So all the best to you who read this log of life here.



I'm curious as the new year begins, who is out there. Drop me a line just to say "me!".