It has been raining steadily since we crossed the Oregon-Washington border, in thick cloud cover, yesterday afternoon. We've flown into Victoria, on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, for our last few trips up here (to visit my mother), because the airport is small and the wait at Customs and Immigration five minutes, as opposed to the hour or two, plus connecting flights or ferries in Vancouver. We drove up Island in heavy fog. The road, the western end of Canada'sHighway 1, is strip malls from Victoria to Nanaimo, after which there is some scenery.
Had a long walk on the beach after lunch today splashing through puddles, scaring off ducks, gulls and a great blue heron. They fly a few metres and land again. The heron graceful and disdainful. A pair of bald eagles watched from the top of a dead tree. I scavenged shells from the seaweeds, the usual amber wracks, and the odd scrap of bright green sea lettuce, but also some very beautiful purple and reddish seaweeds, fine strands and wavy thick, nubbly strips, clamped to rocks. I kept picking stuff up, carrying it for a stretch, and then reluctanctly dropping it back to the sand. Carrying the beach home in my pockets--no more possible than pocketing the world.
Still, I kept a few bits: some perfect, unchipped bivalves, one quite beautiful snail shell, 2 clumps of seaweed, drying on the motel bathroom counter. My jacket pockets are gritty. It is raining on the roof and the tide is right up under the window. It's going to rain all night.