Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Timeless View

Timeless view
My Daughter's Tree 

             Very few places transcend time.  Absolutely a favorite place of mine is that of my grandmother’s house, a place we now call Ucluelet. She has lived there for as long as I have memories. It is a very beautiful place.

             The view from my grandmother’s house is amazing. It is nestled with the snow capped mountains behind, a rocky beach leading out to the bay and then the ocean in the front. It truly is a sight to see. Traditionally we called it It-tat-soo (an ancient place). On that shore line are a variety of trees planted to represent members of my grandmother’s family. My cedar, which is now forty. Is the tallest of all the tree’s and right beside it is my baby’s tree the smallest.  Hers was just planted in August of  2011. You look just beyond the shoreline trees across the bay, and you can see the bright neon lighting on the main street of the town.

To listen from my grandmother’s house is another thing. Close your eyes, and imagine, if you will, waves crashing onto the shore. The constant rhythm reminds me of an ancient song echoing throughought the ages. I can hear it ever so softly. I can also hear cars, horns, boats and the most common sound of them all is that of the seagulls squawking. They are relentless. Day turns to night, and you can hear another echo. That of the fog horn, bellowing throughought the bay. That’s their cue; the seagulls now pass it on to the harbour seals. It is their turn to tell their stories, into the night they sing for they too are relentless.
kiłan̓uus - Harbor Seals 

Beckoned by the distinct smell of the smokehouse fish, the seals make their plea. They bark, “May I also have some fish.” On this night the salty ocean air is taken over by the smoke house fish and the smouldering ambers of the slow burning alder. The smell of the traditional smoke house contrasts with that of the modern view of the township lights almost as much as the backyard mountains contrasts with the ocean beach front. On this night there certainly is an array of scents: the Ocean air, the evergreens, the smoke and the fish.

A constant reminder that the true essence of me is in knowing that I am a man of ancient ways and modern ways. For from my grandmother’s house I truly have a Timeless View.

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