I’ve never been that interested in the ocean. (I apologize to all the surfers and beach bums out there reading this.)
The expanse has always confused me, and because I couldn’t begin to grasp it, it was almost too much for me to enjoy. The tangibility of woods, plains, lakes, etc made those places my home.
Today, I saw the real Pacific Northwest for the first time in Ucluelet, BC, and my whole idea of the ocean changed.
As I was hiking the coastline, I came across the first viewpoint and almost cried and peed my pants at the same time. I scrambled across some rocks to get closer and feel whatever this thing had to offer.
What I found was something somewhat new – fear. Not like the horror movie kind, but the magnificent, awe-inspiring, what the hell and I looking at right now kind.
The wind whipped my hair across my face as the deafening roar of the waves crashed with brute force against the ancient, weathered rocks.
That’s all I could hear, see or feel.
There’s something terrifying about having all of your senses engaged in such a demanding way. You’re forced to let go of anything and everything else and only be a part of the immediate but massive expanse around you.
There have been other times on this trip where I’ve felt inklings of this kind of fear, but it frustrated me, and I attempted to force it out. Why should I be afraid of the beautiful world we get to be included in?
But finally, I let myself give into it a bit today. Fear is caused by the unknown, by what we as humans can’t fully understand and never will. And not only is it ok, but it’s necessary to love and respect what we’re living in.
Because of fear and the result of fear, we are also brought excitement, pain, relief, and a whole realm of other human emotion.
When we fear, we are engaged and alive.
I’m grateful my journey brought me to Vancouver Island.
More Vancouver Island treasures: