an overgrown logging truck in the almost-abandoned town of ocean falls. once we stop cutting away, wild life comes back in full force
i have recently fallen in love with the sea.
i want to go swimming every day. i want to kayak and canoe and scuba dive. i want to learn how to navigate the coast on which i live from water rather than the asphalt ribbons which cut into the earth. since moving to the sunshine coast all of these experiences have become much more real to me than dreaming.
when i ride the ferry back and forth i think about how much i want to be in a small boat, exploring the nooks and bays that rent the island mountains descending straight to the ocean floor. when i am at work i think about how much i am looking foward to my evening swim. when submerged in the salt water i am at once enveloped by the possibilities of all living and dying that my body becomes party to.
at work yesterday my colleagues and i talked our way through the puzzle that is public reaction to various programs and policies. what i proposed then in our watercooler moment is that the root of public reaction to the dwindling salmon resource, and the tainting of the oceans is the reality of ocean as the last vestige of wild nature. though touched by human action in every corner, these waters still retain the original and uncorralled landscape that once existed over the whole planet, still retain the link to our hunter-gatherer past, and in that vein still retain the link to our hope that some corner or ourselves can remain free inside this machine we call civilization. explorations around hydrothermal vents suggest that the building blocks for all life on earth exist in the primordial soups found in these underwater hotspots. it is these links to our lineage, these reminders of the past that affect the psychology, that can help explain the reactions of people we encounter in our work.
without living oceans we lose a food source, potential freedom, a mystery, and our evolutionary parents – our ultimate selves are lost in the dead zones, in the nets of factory ships, on the platforms of oil pumps digging beneath the sea bed for black blood.
with wild nature slipping away, i too fear the loss or permanent alteration of this lover, this giver and taker of breath and mother of all organisms. inside civilized life a love for untamed nature is by necessity tragic – as the incompatibility between civilization and wild life has been demonstrated time and time again.