The wild shores of Clayoquot Sound
sang a siren song to me,
for years before I journeyed there,
before I ever saw the perfection
of its beauty.
It called me out of the desert
into the rainforest, thick and lush,
whose ancient spirits
already knew my name.
It took a mighty leap of trust
to answer that call
and I was fearful, though
I had no idea just how brave a leap that was,
until I found how difficult it was to hold onto
my precarious perch
once I was there.
But I had to answer that call, or give up my dream
and I knew I couldn’t live without a dream.
I took the leap
and was rewarded with
the ten most joyous years of my life.
It calls to me still,
stuck in another desert of the heart.
From this grey little valley,
it calls me home as surely
as the marbled murelet
makes its way back home
from many miles away.
Its wave-song echoes forever through my heart,
and I am remembering, remembering again.
It’s a song of the clean and pungent air,
the salt spray,
white caps lined up and galloping in to shore
like white-maned horses,
the song of the wild waves, rolling and crashing
over black volcanic rock on Frank’s Island,
and the roiling churn of The Cauldron
at the foot of its cliffs,
I, atop and peering down. The wonder!
In my mind, Meares Island is rising up,
full-bosomed and blushing rose in late afternoon,
maternal protection for a village full of conscious souls,
who live on the edge of the edge of the world,
by choice, in love with place.
My eyes, my soul, sang a love song to that place
that sings inside me still.
It always will.
When I had to leave, I took Home with me,
wrapped the memory of that place around me,
the way a sand dollar makes its home
from the sand and grit around it,
and carries it along.
I miss it daily,
those waves undulating in and out
as steadily as Time,
those months and years that kaleidoscope
on fast forward,
until Joy is sixteen years past.
Tofino Time expands, and slows,
the Moment in clear focus, breath caught
in astonishment at its beauty.
Away, time rushes me along
like a whipped donkey,
yielding to the lash,
and dreaming of better days.
I recall the seabird’s cry, the roar of the surf,
the ancient melody of the great old trees,
in whose presence I felt at prayer.
I miss the sunsets, hidden behind the mountains
ringing this small lake valley.
Sometimes the evening sky is streaked with leftovers
from the beach, and I know what I’m missing:
sixteen years of sunsets missed. I yearn; I pine.
As those coloured remnants
streak the evening sky,
I look to the mountaintops.
Behind them, glorious West Coast sunsets
On tiptoe, I can almost
see them shining.
The locals say, once in Tofino, you are on "Tofino time", when everything unfolds slowly, according to mood. I wrote this in response to a prompt to write about a "Call" answered. This was the biggest call of my life, requiring trust and courage. I was ecstatic once I responded, having made the one dream of my life come true. I have written about this mighty leap, and my time there, in prose in my "Love Song to Clayoquot Sound", and have borrowed some of the imagery from that piece, since I don't think I could express it in any other words. Some of my fave photos of the beach can be found in the prose piece, if you'd like to see the wonder of Clayoquot Sound - some of the most spectacular scenery on the planet, in my opinion.