As a kid the stethoscope was always a curious instrument and though I may have listened to my dog’s heartbeat, I haven’t listened to my own since I was a kid. I was eight or so when I asked the family doctor to hear what it sounded like, he obliged. He gently handed me the Old Spice scented cooler chilled listening device and helped me place it. My heart beat sounded like a kick drum being played with a piano hammer. Since then I haven’t had the time to listen. I have been busy with more pressing obligations like property tax, career pursuits and getting people to like me.
The electromagnetic rhythm is both hypnotic, and a gentle reminder how fragile we really are. When a hippy surfer with a stock portfolio says you have good energy and feel connected, they may be referencing the electromagnetic energy your heart produces. Horse trainers like Buck understand this as do some surfers and people who have a desire and affinity for nature and wild things.
In Sooke the heartbeat of Mother Nature is especially loud these days as the winter seas pulse while the surfers once again migrate to the pendulums of Jordan River, Sombrio and China Beach. The connection to the ocean for these surfers is an opportunity, creative outlet and lifestyle. I have never surfed as my hips have needed some retooling, but this season I’m going to see what all the fuss is about. I’m partly curious if the territorial rumours are truer than the love of this sport. Can you own a wave or break, is it about safety or is it about being cradled in the waves and rhythm of nature?
Sid has been surfing this area for 20 years and knows some of the sweet spots. He’s recommended splashing around Jordan River but, in the beginner spot known as the piles, he says it’s kinder there. There are three types of waves, surging breakers happen on beaches where the slope is very steep. The wave does not actually break, instead, it rolls onto the steep beach. Plunging breakers happen on beaches where the slope is moderately steep. This kind of wave normally curls over forming a tunnel until the wave breaks. Expert surfers love this type of wave! Spilling breakers occur on beaches with gentle slopes. These waves break far from the shore, and the surf gently rolls over the front of the wave. I will check it out and let you know.
If you want to go and just sit and listen there are some great spots. French, China, Sombrio, and Mystic may sound like coffee blends but these beaches are trumpeting pretty loud these days. Jordan River, Muir Creek and Whiffin Spit are playing intermittent stanzas.
It’s easy to take our own lives and heartbeat for granted; it’s a paradigm of trust, distraction and hope. The ocean is loud these days perhaps not only to remind us to take time for ourselves, our loved ones, and our hearts but perhaps not to take her for granted either. Her strength and beauty like ours lies in our vulnerability.