Long Beach. No, not the one in California, the one off the coast of Vancouver Island, facing the open ocean. Before I wandered along this beach, I was not a beach person. I don’t like salty water, I don’t like getting sunburns, I don’t like people, I don’t like beaches.
Last time I went to a beach was in beautiful Malibu, California where I promptly had a panic attack. It was lively and vast, clear and loud. I hated it.
I don’t like beaches, and at this point in life, that has been a solidified fact.
Until I went to Tofino.
A Beach for Dreamers
It felt like a lucid dream, walking along in hot sand, yet feeling the thick mist cooling my face. It was a cognitive dissonant walk because I hated beaches, but I loved where I was.
In this dream, the trees grew sideways and the horizon didn’t exist. I couldn’t see where sky meets land meets water, and I didn’t care to, because it was perfect just the way it was.
It was bright to not wear sunglasses, but too dark with them on. I couldn’t trust my eyes because silhouettes waxed and waned in the fog that I felt like I could just reach out and touch.
And it would feel soft, like vaporized velvet.
Sometimes a place gets under your skin. The look and feel of it dives through your 5 senses and embeds itself deep in your brain. I was inspired to feel the present. If that sounds absolutely ridiculous, well it probably is to a lot of people. But I am also someone who is woefully oblivious to my immediate surroundings.
I live in the future and the past, in a strange realm of ideals. But this place pulled me into the present, because for once, the present was more mystical than anything I have experienced in real life.
It was like someone cut open my brain and bled out the images in my head. It felt freeing.
Your Happy Place
I never thought I would find a happy place on this continent, but I did. I couldn’t tell you how far I walked up and down this beach, but every step was worth it.
If I were a writer, this place would have inspired me to write a 800 page novel that was a cross between science fiction and magical realism.
But as I’m merely a photographer, I leave you with a few more snapshots of my happy place on this side of the world.
I hope to go there again, but the season to bask has passed. Maybe next year I can go back and stay longer, and be present and inspired all over again.Tags: beach, Tofino