It’s Happy Hour on the edge of the Pacific—for us, drinking wine and eating olives and bits of this and that, and for the crows on the sand, pecking in the sand for…well, what? Worms? Sand fleas? The stranded jelly with its viscera on display had tiny tracks leading to it, like the most delicate stitching, but it was intact, so no feast for whatever bird investigating its potential.
Surfers go back and forth into the waves. Waves return and return. On the way here, just at the junction of the highway where you turn left to Ucluelet and right to Tofino, I was listening to Van Morrison sing “Ancient Highways” and it was exactly the song to take me—us—to where we will stay for 3 nights.
Traveling like a stranger in the night, all along the ancient highway
Got you in my sights, got you on my mind
I’ll be praying in the evening when the sun goes down
Praying in this case being a kind of deep attention, not to a god (or maybe many) but to a place, to a history, a girl on the beach with shells strung to her ankles and such sorrow in her heart, because she came here after mistakes, disappointments, failures. I sip my wine and watch my daughter walk down the beach and I am filled with memories. The fire is warm, the tide is coming in, I can see the sun setting so beautifully that it’s hard to believe it does this daily.
I found two halves of sand dollars, which means I am rich. I am. I am the woman sitting in the chair looking out at this and I want nothing else.