Filtering the Flood

This fall, my family was finally able to get away for a vacation that had been five years in the making; making in the sense of wishes finally meeting reality. We spent a glorious week on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia–not Australia, and the weather was everything the name implies.

Before leaving, we made sure to research what sights would need to be checked off during the week, and we made loose plans to tick them all. One particular must-see was the Skookumchuk Narrows. These narrows form a choke point between Sechelt Inlet and the open waters beyond Jervis Inlet. An unbelievably vast quantity of water finds its way through there at each tidal change and forms a world-renowned set of rapids that are frequented by stout-hearted kayakers looking to surf the standing crests. 200 billion gallons of water on the move put on quite the show.

skookumchuk-narrows

One of the assumptions I had about this turbulent channel, was that the twice-daily rush of water would make it nigh impossible for there to be much marine life living in that torrent. That turned out to be wildly incorrect. The flow brings with it oxygen and nutrient rich water that feeds a host of marine life that tenaciously clings to the rocky bottom. Of the briny fauna that was littered about the tidal pools, our favourite was the flamboyantly festooned anemone. Their ability to quickly withdraw their tentacles into a defensive posture means that they make an obvious target for curious fingers, and their ability to distinguish became a target for my curious mind.

Our places of habitation come with an equivalent flood of mental, emotional, and spiritual nourishment in the tumultuous tidal changes of our lives. Many days, though, the flood becomes the focus; we feel as though we will be swept away. The surges have no respect for day or night, nor whether we have a firm grip or no. As important as it is though, to ensure that we are properly anchored on a rock, we must also be able to distinguish food from foe in the flow. We still need to live, and when it all comes rushing by, will we thrive, or just survive?

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