Sunday, February 7, 2010
Until a few months ago I was living in Vancouver, Canada. A beautiful place might I add. A place that I felt I had to reassure myself that I arrived there in a plane and not a delorean. Vancouver is amazing, the whole time I was there I felt as though I was living in a modern version of the 60s. The simplicity of that time, yet a tad more advanced; a place that has a peaceful and happy vibe constantly flowing.
In May of 2009 my older brother came to join me for my birthday, and stayed a couple weeks. One weekend of his visit, my brother and I hired a car along with a mate of mine and drove to Vancouver Island; with the help of a big ferry to glide across water. When we arrived on the Island we hopped in the car and started our journey. Towards the afternoon of our voyage, the road on which we travelled shot out through the trees and ran alongside the water, which to our surprise opened out to a beautiful secluded lake surrounded by mountains. And it was that which made us chuck-a-u’e and find a place to park. Each of us quickly walked with anticipation to the water. The sun was out so it made this endeavour quite exhilarating. When we met water, we turned right and walked along side to a spot that wasn’t accompanied by a couple in love, or a family of fun. After a few moments we found a spot of our own. I placed my iPhone on the ground and connected it to a pair of small portable speakers. A playlist of mellow, acoustic music, which for the first time featured Jack Johnson amongst it by choice; it seemed as though this moment and place was perfect for his work. So as it was, we chilled to the music and took in what surrounded us. The whole time here, just a tad over an hour it turned out, was spent in the water, not our entire bodies, t’was Vancouver in May after all, but from our thighs down. We took photos and re-enacted films that had scenes in places similar to where we were. One being Jean Claude Van Damme’s Nowhere to Run, which was the second time JCVD made an appearance that day, and not the last. When our time here came to an end we threw our thongs back on and started to head back towards the car. I kept looking back at where we had just left, because if it was up to me, I would have stayed there all day.
Just as we pulled out of the dirt car park and continued our journey for Tofino, I noticed how relaxed I was. I felt fresh, rejuvenated. It was then when I asked the rest how they felt and, to my surprise, they were in total agreement. It then got me thinking, we had spent an hour or so barefoot in this magnificent bed of water. Walking on the rocks that were the ground beneath, trying not to step on twigs or sharp edges, yet feeling every little thing underneath us. To me it felt like my body had been recharged. That I had become run down and needed nature’s greatness to bring me back to full life. This was something that had never really crossed my mind. To me, nature was just something that was there. What was always there. It’s just around us and that’s it. I never really gave it anymore thought, but after this day, this moment, it was then when I realized that I never had felt like that before. So then I looked at me, at us - humans. And it came to me; we have grown up covering ourselves, protecting ourselves from everything, never really letting anything in. And don’t get me wrong, it isn't a bad thing. For instance, shoes have been made to protect us from the ground we walk on; rocks, sticks, broken glass, etc, but my question is, do we actually feel anything? Yes it protects us, but are we also just blocking one of the most sensitive parts of our body from what grounds us? The mood your feet are in is the mood you are in. If your feet are cold, you are cold. As long as it is not a hard man made surface beneath us, it is going to feel amazing on the soles of our feet, therefore making us feel amazing. Although, come to think about it, I guess that is what’s wrong with the world these days, we don’t feel enough.