Last month, I took a plane out to Eugene, Oregon to visit my brother and his girlfriend. We spent most of our time playing pinball and visiting the local tea bar to try out various Oolongs, but one of the days out there, we decided to head out to the coast to see the water.
It was supposedly whale watching season, so on the drive out, I kept imagining these breaching blue whales, creating massive shadows over me, that would forever be imprinted in my mind to remember this spring day. When we arrived, we found a viewing station and gift shop. Down below, we saw nothing but waves. I asked the ranger where all the whales were, and he told me that the swells were too high. While that didn’t quite answer my question, I guessed that they had found calmer waters. They knew better than to play around with big waves.
We left the viewing station and went down to the water. It was a spot known as Thor’s Well – a giant sinkhole in the rock where the vast waves crash over and get pulled into the depths below. I balanced from one rock to another to go get a closer look. The deep colors and tremendous thundering sounds of water on rock were truly humbling. Despite the Well, one wave still powered over the top and managed to thoroughly douse me.
In that moment, I was mostly laughing and glad that I remembered to put my phone in my waterproof pocket. But I also had a profound respect for nature and for water – for the power behind it and what it is capable of. For the simple fact that it is chaos and life.
Water always wins.
Water does not need humans. (In fact, it tried to take me out that day.) But humans do need water.