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darling, i don’t know why i go to extremes

Mon July 20 2009

life on this summer weekend in BC seems to me like it was all about extremes.  extreme frustration, extreme awesomeness.  the juxtaposition of each.  the contradictions created.  the cascade of versions in between.  this causes a person like me to {sigh}… tension.  relief.  amazement.  humour.  knowledge. confusion. calgon, take me away, i hope this never ends.

like i say, i don’t know much about tides, so i googled a little and found Fisheries and Oceans Canada and they told me lots of info that i haven’t fully synthesized yet.  but what did break through for me is looking at my kids playing at the ocean’s edge and plunking rocks in, and realizing a bit about the extremes. so much LIFE in the ocean, how it affects life in so many ways, how much i don’t know about either, how robust and powerful it is (go to Tofino and just LISTEN), and how fragile too. so much to learn about, and one of my hopes is the in living here, my kids will come to absorb knowledge of this land and this world and live with the consciousness it demands.  our place in the world and our effect on it, and the choices we make for our actions.

some kind of a sea star flopping around in the waves, i don't think he survived whatever it was that disturbed him

some kind of a sea star flopping around in the waves, i don't think he survived whatever it was that disturbed him

there’s also this mysterious thing on the television here that’s got me thinking about extremes and our-place-in-the-world-what-living-here-is-like contemplation.  when we were staying in Cowichan Bay, it was labelled with “Duncan Node” and a number, but here in Ladysmith it doesn’t seem to be labelled with anything.  The Turkey is quite curious about it and asks “What dis zat??” whenever it flips by on the big screen.  Um…  what to say?


After Big Daddy’s answers and googling again and finding EqCan,and whether or not this is what that mysterious thing is, I am thinking that we will have to do a lot more family talking about this.  Emergency preparedness and all that.  But — Amazing!  Extreme!  I “knew” about this, and when I was an older kid I thought it was really really interesting, but it’s not been a conscious part of life.  I have family in California where I think it’s safe to say they are very consciously aware of this potential and reality in daily life.  We need to up our awareness a tad, just like we do about the ocean — if we’re going to live on an island surrounded by the Pacific Ocean probably the least I should do is make sure my kids know how to swim.  If we’re going to live in a part of the country that is “Canada’s most earthquake-prone province”, then the least I should do is make sure we understand what this means.

But really where my thinking is about this right now is just marvelling about the extremes of this place — the landscape is really UNREAL in it’s awesomeness, but at the same time, Nature is not always only benevolent, or rather maybe nature’s beauty comes in many forms.  I’m stuck on this today because it seems so different.  Maybe I only notice because the geography here forces you to see it.  To me, Alberta was sort of like four-seasons-in-one-day, changeble and amazing but stable, like there might be an avalanche on the mountain but the mountain would still be there afterwards.  Ontario was like stay-the-course, not too surprising, what you see is what you get.  I am seeing BC as this panorama of extremes – moutains, peaks, ,valleys, ebb and flow, and it all might disappear or stop because it’s all so dependent on the other (think economy and industry like logging and fishing and tourism, think geography and fault lines and tsunami evacuation zones). We’re back to the rose and the thorn, I guess.  And I don’t at all think it’s bad or scary, just different.  And this is about me Getting to Know You and how life is different here.

I think it’s safe to say that The Bug likes the beaches, and said she hopes we can stay here forever and always wants to live on Vancouver Island.  I haven’t told her about earthquakes yet though, so I’ll keep you posted…  She’s very interested (not sure if that’s the right word) about weather and the risks and we have endless conversations about thunder and lightening, and tornados and do tornados  happen {here} (wherever we are) and do hurricanes happen {here} and are there volcanos {here}, so at any rate, earthquakes and tsunamis will freshen up the conversation.

parenting added a whole other dimension to the extremes of the weekend. for example,  the drive to tofino was eye-gouging in it’s painfulness and frustration level {aside from The Bug’s hilarious, never-ending, made up song about when things were invented:  when mountains were invented, when dogs were invennnnnted, when rivers were invented, when trees were inventeeeeeed….}, but ended at the spectacular scenery of Tofino and had amazing mountain, valley, lake vistas on either sides of the road that hugged the lake/mountain side/edge, dwarfed by rock towering overhead, and massively unbelievably huge and tall trees standing guard everywhere.  locked in a hurtling 4 door sedan of parenting hell, delivered at the other end of the road to spectacular awesomness, makes the drive actually worth it.

other extremes noted this weekend, just some among many: the extreme number of times the floor needs to be swept, and the extreme amount of crumbs that materialize out of thin air on it.  the extreme stubborness of seven.  the extreme cuteness of our kids.  the extreme efforts of Big Daddy to make the house a place that functions and looks spiffy so we can live happily.  the extreme development of a toddler-soon-to-be-preschooler’s vocabulary and atriculation.  the extreme heat of the sun and the difference the setting sun makes. the extreme entertainment of “doing laundries”… {sigh…}

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