Letting Nature Decide my Day
Since living on Haida Gwaii I've become more attuned to the rhythm of nature than I realized.
Last weekend a few girl friends and I tried to plan a day of stand up paddle boarding in advance. We went back-n-forth texting. Trying to figure out what coast to go to or if we should go to a protected bay. We looked at the wind charts and the weather channels. But we still couldn't predict what the water would be like. Especially here, where the Hecate Strait is one of the roughest and most unpredictable waters in the world. And if the weather was completely shit, then what would we do? Something different altogether? How were we going to spend our day outside? If at all? There was almost no point trying to plan because it could have been a bit windier than expected with white-capping waves... and we'd be hiking instead.
So eventually, we just stopped trying to plan. We waited for the morning to see what the water conditions were and what nature had to say. It was nature that was really deciding how we spent the day. Whether we liked it or not. But I liked that. I realized that I liked living by nature's rhythm. Being connected to the elements. With every day a bit unknown. A bit of an adventure.
When I first arrived on Haida Gwaii I attended a lecture by Captain Gold, a Haida Elder who has spent a good part of his life as a Watchmen on the shores of Haida Gwaii's roughest waters. During his lecture he talked about how to predict the weather and water conditions from the clouds, currents and tides. At the time, it was all relatively new to me. But now, whether it's subconscious or not, I can better read the direction of the wind, the length of a cloud, or the heaviness of the fog, and determine what that means for paddling that day. And the longer I live here, the more I let go of planning, connect to the elements and let nature decide how I spend my time.
Though, there's really something to be said in letting nature determine how you spend your day. How long you're on the water, whether you head left out to open calm waters or right to protected bays. It's a rhythm of connectedness that I hope I never lose.