I suppose it is fitting that in the year I choose Middle Path as my theme, that I find myself at Middle Beach Lodge on a very middle-aged birthday. I am at a crossroads, it feels more like a whole new book, than a new chapter. And so here I am in Tofino, contemplating my life, looking back on where I’ve been, figuring out where I want to go. Tofino is a good place for reflection. Standing on the beach, looking out to the vast sea fills me with awe and perspective. The combination of forest and ocean helps me to still my busy mind enough to really hear. It is a place where black and white thinking blurs to many shades of grey.
I was out with my cousins for dinner last night, they have a tug business and half of their livelihood is made from fish farms. They are fishers too, have been fishing all their lives. They tell me they have never found lice on the salmon here. They eat farmed salmon and wild salmon and cannot taste the difference. We discuss the copper mine that will likely be started near Meares Island. It will slice off the top of Catface mountain and make for an unsightly view for Tofino residents and the thousands of tourists who visit every summer. The copper will be used to make cell phones. The District of Tofino has no say, it is Ahousaht First Nations’ territory. And they need the work.
The logging protest at Clayoquot Sound in 1993 turned the area into a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. The passionate, devoted environmentalists and others who joined the crusade, saved many ancient trees. They also put Tofino on the world map. Now developers are clearcutting to build developments.
The older I get, the more I discover that nothing is ever black and white. That the truth is usually found somewhere in the middle.