|A clear November Day on the west coast of Vancouver Island.|
We took these pics on the west coast of the Island, near Tofino, about a three and a half hour drive from Base Camp 1. As always, eyes were drawn to the magnificent beauty of the incoming waves. The thought at the time, however, was much more a contemplative one. I remember thinking that every time we have been in such a place, where the vast ocean meets the exposed land, there is a profound sense of the "transfer" of energy. It's the same here, on the Pacific coast, or along the rugged coast of the Scottish North Sea...or anywhere. And it's more than tangible. The energy can be felt. It washes over you, with a "transforming" effect. There's a reason for that.
I was always fascinated by lessons learned in high school physics classes. (My life's vocation took a very different direction, however, in part because I am quite hopeless in any practical applications of physics or mechanics.)
One thing I've always remembered is "the law of the conservation of energy". (Excellent explanation here.) This law states that, in a closed system, energy can neither be created nor destroyed. It can only be changed or transferred from one form to another. Standing on the sea shore, watching, listening to, and "experiencing" ocean waves roll onto the beach provides a very real example of this.
|Youth...braving the chill.|
The energy in the waves is then changed to heat, and sound, and the kinetic forces that swirl the sand and erode the rocks. Of course, it is far more complicated than that, but I will only get into trouble with those much wiser than I if I go any further with this very simple illustration. ;)
The point I want to make is simply that some of the extraordinary energy that is released by the ocean waves can be experienced and enjoyed by our bodies, minds, and spirits. Is that not why so many are drawn to places such as the seaside, where ocean waves meet the land and exchange and offer their energy to all matter and all life that would receive it.
Could it explain why we feel so invigorated listening to, and watching, the crashing of ocean waves. At this time of the year many come to our Island from all over the world to "storm watch". The experience excites, and stimulates, and feeds the spirit. It can be truly nature at its dramatic best.
And is that not why some of life's most difficult questions find resolution in such special places? Is the sea shore, perhaps, one of those wild landscapes, those "thin" places of Celtic tradition, where we feel and draw deeply in, not only the transformed energy of the sun and the wind and the waves, but the very heartbeat and breath of this fragile, island planet.
"I must go down to the seas again"*...a wonderful place to think, find clarity, and simply be.
*From John Masefield's poem, "Sea Fever".