Monday, May 12, 2008

Soul Food

I spent the weekend chasing clouds, searching for starfish, and collecting beautiful treasures left behind by the generous sea. The ocean breathes deeply here...the crash and roll of the thundering waves lulled me to sleep at night, and the ins and outs of the tides kept time for me.

Pacific Rim National Park is about 4 hours away from Victoria, and when I get an opportunity to go to this magical place, there is no stopping me. I am drawn by it's incredible power. Pictures don't do this place justice, as it is too vast. You need to hear the ocean's roar, and taste the salt mist carried by the wind, and smell the cool crisp ocean air. You need to feel the fine powdery sand between your toes. You need to become invisible in the dense mist and watch as it swiftly clears away leaving you exposed in the immense blue openness. You need a complete 360 degree view to take it all in.

It gets in your bones. It gets in your soul.

I was invited to stay at this gorgeous beach house with good friends who feel like my second family. We shared many laughs, incredible food, surfing and drumming sessions, walks on the beach with lots of time and space for solitude.

When I come to a place like this, I get lost in thought. I start asking the big questions. Why am I here? What is all this for? The universe, the world, the ocean is so big...I feel so small. Am I at all significant in the whole great scheme of things? When it's grey and moody, the outgoing tide seems to pull the deeper emotions out of me. I watch the flashes of white spray as the waves crash into the rocks and I wonder why so many of us are so drawn to water. Is it because we originate from the sea? Is it because we are nestled in a warm watery womb for the first nine months of life? Do we remember on some deep subconscious level? Is it because the ocean is full of mystery? What's lurking down in the deep? What thrives in a place where we would surely drown? Water gives us life, but can also take life away. Why then is it so comforting?

I don't know if I can ever leave the ocean, now that I have lived near it. It has become such an essential part of me. When I come to this beautiful rugged coastline, I feel the need to be present every single waking moment so that I can absorb it, and carry it with me until the next time I am able to stay here. It never feels long enough. I can feel its gravitational pull on me, always.

I will return again in the summer months, when the sand and the air is warm. When the water takes on a deep deep blue hue. Stunning against the white of the breaking surf. And then again, in the winter...storm season, when the ocean is raging, and the wind could carry you away. I will soak it all up again and again and again...the anticipation is the only thing that keeps the longing tolerable.


  1. Beautiful photos and a beautiful post... I feel the same way about the sea, unfortunately I don't get to visit it as often as I'd like!!

  2. So tremendously contemplative as i read you through each word. so much of soul sweetness, these fresh moments so mystical.
    Your steps in these intimate spaces carries me in a non physical way through the pathways of your soul.

    It is here, i see how rich life is....
    a dollar bill might be useful, but cannot take where a cloud can....only the dancing of your soul can...

    And you,Jaime, i've been seeing the dancing of your soul.


  3. What a beautiful meditation around the vastness of the infinitesimal ocean...and the seeming insignificance of our little selves in the vast universe.

    Your words and images together create a lovely melody.

  4. it feels like forever since i was last there ... the rocky mountains do the same thing for me though, there is something about the ocean, the water, the rock, the power of the earth ... it is good i think ...

  5. So gorgeous! You've made me wistful for the ocean....


  6. Jaime, your reflections are ones of deep contemplation. i know you have been in that body of water in order to understand its true nature. Stunning photographs. Thank you.

  7. Jaime - I should've come here earlier today. The peacefulness is incredible. And, of course, I'm crazy about that fence.

    Debi (Smith Kaich Jones)

  8. Oh these are such gorgeous photos!!
    I love keep making me a good way.:)

    I also love how passionate you are about these much you appreciate where you are.

    It's lovely.


  9. aaah yes why are we drawn to the ocean so much? i personally love the ocean when the skys are cloudy because to me it is more beautiful. Whenever i stare out at the ocean i wonder what lyes ahead whether it is in life or over the ocean.

    Thankyou for your great post.

  10. The ocean fascinates me, mostly because it's one place man has not conquered, not really.
    We don't have a clue what's down there to any real extent. We've gone into space yet can't fathom the depths.
    This is a lovely musing: I do wonder too about what we're not seeing in a place we couldn't even survive in.
    Perhaps some people just like us...tiny creatures we can't even begin to picture!

  11. I've never seen starfish like that... laid out on a rock and so colorful. Beautiful!

  12. I heart this post with
    those glorious photos and
    your soulrich words ~
    such poetry in the ocean:)

    and that starfish is lovely!

  13. wow those photos are gorgeous.

    whenever i feel lost, i always turn to the ocean and i'm happy to know that you find comfort there also.

    what a beautiful place, it is making me long for the sea myself. it's something i find hard about living in London