August 17, 2009
Saturday night between 7 and 9:30 p.m., three good friends, Charles, our guide and I kayaked almost silently through the Haro Strait. We were flanked by bald eagles, Dall’s porpoises, small fish that jumped giddily out of the water, rhinoceros auklets, and the memory of a large pod of Orca whales who swam in this same spot just an hour earlier. When twilight surrendered to nighttime, fascinating sparks from bioluminescent life forms lit up in the water with each paddle stroke. Vancouver Island and B.C.’s smaller southern gulf isles met our gaze across the sea, and as the clouds gave way to the sunset which gave way to the stars, I knew I was in my own version of Heaven.
I chose to accompany these pix with a little excerpt from the “Nunc Dimittis” movement of my “Evensong Suite,” since it seemed so fitting. The text refers to how, upon seeing baby Jesus, Simeon declares that he’s seen God’s salvation– something God had promised he would experience before he died. Well, for me, and for a lot of folks just like me, moments like this are my salvation, and the power of the universe in its natural beauty, in its art, and in the kindest interactions with others, are the only saviours that matter. Amen!