A walk in the park.

A few weeks ago, we went for a walk in Snickett Park in Sechelt. Steve wanted me to write something to go with the day, and I finally got around to it 🙂

The wind picked up the waves as we walked along the sea wall, turning the sea the same grey as the sky. We reached the bulge of granite that marked the end of the path, but were drawn on to a stretch of pebble beach we could see just beyond a small thicket. Following the dog into a tunnel of brown, we made our way through the brambles to the other side, a sea side more immediate than the civilized distance the sea wall provides. The pebbles were large, almost rocks, each rolled smooth by the waves that had crashed forever and were crashing, here, now. As the waves receded, the tinkling of each rock against its neighbour was almost a rustle, much louder than the familiar whisper of sand grains being swept by water.

The conversation of crash and whisper marked our progress down the beach; we walked with chins tucked against the bitter, beautiful wind. Stepping over crumbling cement boat ramps, I thought of Victorian garden parties; walking beached logs I thought of cool dark forests, and the smell of salt and cedar filled my nose.

We reached another granite outcropping, where the waves lashed and sprayed. The boom of the breakers belied the delicacy of the white froth: foam from retreating waves spread like a bridal veil on the rock. We climbed a little rise and a path of short grass appeared; we walked this fairy trail to the top of a tiny hill, where the ocean spread out below, and the dark sky spread out above.

Clouds piled on clouds; the mountains across the Straight one band of blue amongst many; shafts of light reached out to touch a small island we could not remember the name of. Colours were intense: the green of the grass more green, the dog more white, the sea greyer and crashing harder, and still we lingered. Air rushed against our faces, and our eyelashes shivered against the onslaught. It felt hard to leave the comfort and chill of the wind, our vantage point, our moment of turbulence caught in time.

Finally we turned, put our backs to the storm, and walked away. The wind pushed and tugged — go away, come back — and the rocks crunched under our feet. Our ears were full of wind and our pockets full of hands, and still we turned back to let the cold take our breath away . Back through the path and onto the sea wall, sanity returned, and we hurried, frozen, to the car.

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