Shoreline

Reclaimed wood from the Saskatchewan prairies

“A coastal forest can be an awesome place to behold: huge, holy, and eternal-feeling, like a branched and needled Notre Dame, but for a stranger it is not a particularly comfortable place to be. You can be twenty paces from a road or a beach and become totally disoriented; once inside there is no future and no past, only the sodden, twilit now. Underfoot is a leg-breaking tangle of roots and branches and, every fifteen metres or so, your way is blocked by moss-covered walls of fallen trees that may be taller than you and dozens of metres long. These so-called nurse logs will, in turn, have colonnades of younger trees growing out of them, fifty years old and as orderly as pickets. In here, boundaries between life and death, between one species and the next, blur and blend: everything is being used as a launching pad by something else; everyone wants a piece of the sky. Down below, the undergrowth is thick, and between this and the tree, it is hard to see very far; the sound of moving water is constant, and the ground is as soft and spongy as a sofa with shot springs. You have the feeling that if you stop for too long, you will simply be grown over and absorbed by the slow and ancient riot of growth going on all around you.” – John Vaillant – ‘The Golden Spruce’
My favourite excerpt from ‘The Golden Spruce’ about the power and beauty of the Pacific Northwest shoreline.