Highway 4, Junction Ucluelet/Tofino. Right blinker, turn and off we go.
Another few kilometers and we will finally be there. I feel the anticipation grow inside and butterflies spreading their wings in my stomach just like before a first date. As we drive past the lush old-growth rainforest of the Pacific Rim, I feel my tense muscles starting to relax and the corners of my mouth turning up. Somewhere right behind these giant old trees lays my old friend, the Pacific Ocean, waiting for me.
We turn into the parking lot and I tear open the door and run towards the beach. Covered in thick, dense mist I can't see the ocean but I hear the sound of the waves, the constant roaring. The calming and soothing sound makes me feel safe and gives me a sort of direction, although the only direction I need for now is the one leading me to the surf.
I take a deep breath and my heart opens, making me feel alive, light and at peace. It seems like this magical world between land and ocean breathes life into my stiff body. The tide is receding, revealing all the little treasures of the Pacific Ocean. Suddenly, I feel like a little girl on Christmas morning, a pile of gifts carefully placed under the tree. Excited, I don't know which gift to open first. Only now, I don't have Christmas presents in front of me but the beautiful gifts that the ocean has to offer us. Feeling exhilarated, I am torn between exploring the tide pools, beachcombing Chesterman Beach or looking out for gray whales.
I take another deep breath, taking in the fresh clear air with its distinctive scent of ocean. As much as I try to find the right words to describe its unique fragrance, I fail with every attempt. It seems that every description doesn't serve it justice. As I stand with my feet in the cold Pacific water, a thought crosses my mind: Maybe I don't have to try so hard. Maybe it is as simple and clear as the air I breathe in. The Pacific Ocean just smells like ... home.
Message to Canadians: Every child needs a home, a place where they can feel safe, protected, loved. A sheltered sanctuary where they can take a break, breathe deeply and "reboot". For the child within us, we have to protect the important waters of the Pacific Ocean. For the child we are and for the children who are yet to come.