morning on Cox Bay

P1100514The price we pay, a handful of broken sand-dollars, an empty beach at first, just the moon above, caught in the branches of the tree by our window,


and pink sky and the surf.


I first came to this area — the Pacific Rim — as a teenager and continued coming regularly into my early twenties. I camped alone on these beaches in the days when people lived in driftwood shelters and there might have been a resort or two but certainly not the numbers there are now. You could walk in any direction and meet one person, or none. There was a Co-op in Tofino and the winding road in was still gravel, logging trucks racing towards Port Alberni with their loads of fine trees stripped of their branches. And no, I’m not camping this time but staying in one those resorts, with John, Angelica, and Sahand. No beach fires with a bottle of Jamesons settled into the sand nearby. No broken heart, no dog at my heel, eager to roll in rotten fish. But that girl walked beside me just now as I went out to meet the ocean. And the ocean is the same, surging in over the grey sand and then falling back, under the moon’s influence. There are long strands of bull kelp and clam shells


and the wonderful taste of salt on my mouth from the wind. As I headed back to our suite, where I hoped coffee might be ready (and it is!), I saw this young man running towards the rocks at the end of the bay, board under his arm.


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