Hishuk-ish ts’awalk

The weather has been cool and cloudy in British Columbia. We have yet to experience the hot temperatures and sunshine we usually receive in July and August. I just returned from spending a week on the west coast of Vancouver Island. One evening I watched a whale for about thirty minutes very close to shore feeding near the rocks and amongst the kelp forests. The whale had two distinct blowholes, no dorsal fin and I could clearly hear it exhaling. If you have never been close enough to a huge whale when it’s exhaling, let me tell you,  it’s an amazing sound. As I walked back to my vehicle I watched an Osprey hovering and then plunging feet-first into the water. When it flew overhead I could see the fish that it had caught and was holding in it’s talons. The west coast of Vancouver Island is a magical place. The Nuu-chah-nuulth First Nations people have lived in this area for thousands of years. When describing this place they use the word, “Hishuk-ish ts’awalk”, which means “everything is one”. In the winter it’s battered by Pacific storms, but in the summer you can walk on the beaches, beneath towering Sitka spruce trees and listen to the rhythmic sounds of the surf.

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