Longing for the Sea

It was in Halifax that I decided I needed to spend my summer amongst the mountains that had been so lacking in my Nova Scotian life.  And it is tonight, as I lay immersed in my wish- this incredible valley- that I realize how badly I long for the ocean once again.

Why is it that the absence of something sometimes goes more noticed than the presence of something else equally appealing? Sometimes is in italics because most often I prefer to concentrate on the gift I have in front of me as apposed to marvelling over what I am missing out on. With every opportunity comes an opportunity cost; one of the fundamental principals of Economics, which I learned this year at university should really just be called "Life".

By no means am I expecting an answer to this vast question, but I find it most curious.

People that have come here to Fairmont from Ontario and are astonished at the Rocky Mountains ask me, "Do the mountains ever lose their enchantment since you grew up with them?" I reply that I hope it never comes to the point where I take for granted the mountains enough to lose their compelling beauty to my eyes. Even after 18 years of growing up on the foot of a mountain, I have not once looked at a mountain and failed to see some sort of brilliance.

I am happy here. Very content. Grateful for the incredible nature that surrounds us. Today, probably my 6th or 7th time hiking the Hoodoo's, I was still in awe as I looked out over Dutch Creek and down upon the eroded rock formations. Tonight however, I can't help but think about the ocean. It must have been the lake we drove by, Columbia Lake, which had white caps scattered across the lake's surface that got me thinking about the ocean.

I long for the salty air passing through my hair as I bike along the Sea Wall in Coal Harbour. I long for the Government Dock in Deep Cove where I sit to enjoy the full moon or where I plunge into the dark waters to cool off on a hot summers day. I long for the crash of the waves into the beaches of Negril. I long for the liberating experience of skinny dipping in the ocean surrounding Keats Island. I long for the route I run through Point Pleasant Park that takes me along the shores of the Halifax Harbour. I long for the ferry waves to thrash our helpless bodies into the barnacle-coated rocks of Bowen Island. I long to play with the little white jelly fish that loiter around the dock in Deep Cove. I long to lie on a surfboard off of Lawrencetown Beach and peacefully float over the waves before they gained momentum and crash into surfer territory. I long for the snorkel and fins I have used in various tropical destinations to see clownfish, turtles, eels and barracudas. I long for the swing set at Second Beach that overlooks the waters of English Bay. I long to paddle the canoe across the Burrard Inlet to Belcarra Park and play a game of frisbee. I long to ride "5 Wincks" up to the West Van Yacht Club Outstation, and dive off the bow of the boat. I long to sit in a scull at 6am and watch seals pop up to the surface to catch a breath. I long to sit out on the deck of the ferry ride from Horseshoe Bay to Langdale. I long for a swim from the dock at the end of Strathcona to that little island of an unknown name. I long for the radiant phosphorescence in the sea caves of Phuket. I long to jump off the high ramp of the government dock in all my clothing so that my white shirt becomes see-through.

I couldn't tell you what it is about this day, but today the ocean is prevalent in my thoughts.

The silly thing is, as soon as I depart from the mountains and return to the sea, these feelings of longing will likely reoccur. Only this time, the mountains will be the ones ingrained in my every thought.

However sad it is, a blogger that goes under the name "la couturier", wrote in her post "pearls of wisdom: wanting what you can't have", an excerpt that holds much truth:
It's only human nature to want what we can't have- you know, something along the lines of that good old adage about "the grass being greener on the other side."


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