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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Sea Sisters

"Oh, East is East and West is West, and never the twain shall meet," wrote Rudyard Kipling. But those differences don't always matter. Last Sunday I savored a walk along Crescent Beach, on the shore of British Columbia's Boundary Bay, in the company of a dear friend. Although born on opposite sides of the continent in very different maritime communities, we recognize in each other a spiritual kinship. With my roots in the Puget Sound area and hers in Nova Scotia, my heart attached to the Pacific Ocean and hers the Atlantic, we still feel unspoken bonds of understanding and a shared wistfulness that draws us down to the sea.

As strange as it seems, I had never seen Crescent Beach in daylight. I once stood on the footpath next to it in the chill of a winter evening, the scent and sense of the sea coming to me through the dark with only moonlight illuminating the waves. That night my friend and I shared a dinner with the men we love in the coziness of Pelagos Greek Restaurant right at the water's edge. Candlelight, calamari, and a nice red wine, the windows steamed up by the warmth of good food and friendship, set the scene. Above the music of their voices I thought about the mysterious paths our lives take and how we all ended up together.

My friend and I are both musicians, soulful creatures. She's an accomplished classical violinist. I play jazz. But we understand each other on many levels and one of those is the level of our truest selves, our basic essence, our need to be at sea level, to breathe oxygen-rich, marine air, to hear the cries of gulls and the sound of waves. After our walk on Sunday, we sat on the porch of a coffee shop called The Wired Monk, and talked about these things, and more.

We shared stories of our families. In August of 1880, mine left Tacoma in a small boat to become some of the first few settlers on Vashon Island. Hers arrived in Nova Scotia in 1752. Their blood is our blood. Their ghosts influence our yearnings. We summon them through legends of the dreams and dramas of their lives and connect with them as if time meant nothing.

No words are necessary to explain the call of the sea. We "sisters" will walk that beach again and leave our footprints in the sand. The tide may wash them away, but it can never obliterate where we came from and who we are, which are one and the same.

1 comment:

"Jazz Lives" @ said...

Beautiful photographs, Candace, especially the last one -- and a poetic understanding of the currents that take us places!