I live by the ocean. Not on the water; my house is at the top of a hill. I can see most of Victoria, the ocean, and some of Washington state from where I’m situated. I can see the whirling riptides, the boats that are constantly travelling through our harbour, and the rolling clouds. The blue sky is so vast it looks limitless. The ocean is so deep it looks bottomless. It’s a peaceful place to live.
There is a trail on my street that leads to the beach. The path becomes steeper gradually, except at the end, where it is quite abrupt. When we moved to this house six years ago, I thought I was the luckiest person. To have a beach in my backyard, and nothing but time to explore it. I would walk down frequently, despite the challenging trek back up. My parents and I discovered this area, near the bottom of the hill, that was covered in blackberry bushes and broom. There was a fence that always intrigued me, but I always adhered to the, “No Trespassing, Violators Will be Prosecuted” sign.
As the years went on, I went to the beach less and less. My priorities changed; my schedule filled up. I would still go occasionally, but it wasn’t something I made time for. Until now, the time where we have unlimited time. We have online school, and lots of homework, but not so much that it fills up the entire day. Near the beginning of isolation, I started walking down to the beach daily. It became a routine that helps me cope with everything; that helps me stay sane. Regardless of the weather, I would walk down at least once a day.
Like the years prior, I noticed myself being drawn in by the fence that I was not allowed to cross. I could see a path through the chain-link fencing, and there was an opening in the fence that was calling my name. I advanced through the broom and blackberry thorns, surprisingly without a scratch. I maneuvered my way through the opening, and then I was on the other side. I kept going. I kept going through the tall grass, with the ocean on my left. I walked further up, and reached what I thought was a summit. It wasn’t. I looked around, and the field was enormous. Piles of gravel were placed in a seemingly unstrategic manner, and the ocean looked beautiful through the multicoloured trees. The wind was refreshing, and the space was so open it was calming. On my right, there was a hill that I immediately recognized. Not the path that I walked down on, but the hill behind my house that I occasionally take my friends to. It’s a much steeper hill. And there’s no path. The grass is high, and there are patches of clovers and flowers throughout. I walked towards it, and when I reached the bottom, I started climbing up. As I got higher, the view got even more beautiful. Although it was steep, I was determined. I made it to the top, and I could see everything. I could see all of Royal Bay, some of Metchosin, and a large portion of Colwood. I could see the sky, once again vast, and the ocean, once again deep. I could see the city, the clouds, and the trees. And to think that I followed the “No Trespassing” sign all these years. What a shame.