Getting away from it all, riding in a fjord

Sometimes, many times actually, life can become a bit overwhelming. On a personal level, the pressures of work, caring for family, health issues, financial issues, and day-to-day routines can sap even the strongest of the strong.

Add to that the daily woes and sufferings of our brothers and sisters across this not-so-big blue marble in the great Milky Way, one can become wary of letting one’s feet hit the floor to start another day.

God knows we need a breather every once in a while, and He provides those respites in a plethora of ways. We just have to look for them and recognize them.

Occasionally for me, the word mankind seems like an oxymoron. Too often I struggle to see the “kind” in mankind. That’s why I often find solace and comfort in God’s Creation with things not of man — nature, animals, silence and beauty.

Last week I had the great blessing of being able to vacation in the great northwest region of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

I had never been any further west than Cleveland, so this was a great adventure for me.

We touched down in the city surrounded by waterways and mountains and I was immediately at home.

As exciting as a large metropolis can be, I was mesmerized by what surrounded it, had the great fortune of being able to take an excursion just 30 minutes to the northwest to take a boat tour of the southernmost fjord in North America, Howe Sound.

The boat ride, aboard an inflatable zodiac craft, was two hours, and shortly after we pulled from the dock, I was transported to another world. Despite there being 10 other people on board, I was alone in world of majesty and beauty — a world only God could create.

Rising proudly on the northwestern horizon of the sound was Mount Garibaldi, a dormant, yet possibly active volcano resting atop a glacier. Despite it being mid-July, snow covered the marvelous mountain, as it did several of its neighboring peaks.

The water was pure and clean, taking on the hues of several greens and turquoises. The fresh air offered an intoxicating mixture of pure salt water, juniper, pine, and spearmint — all with a slight haze emanating from the more-than 150 wildfires burning across British Columbia.

Along the shoreline, I was greeted by several bald eagles, seemingly keeping watch over the stunning sea and landscape which is their home.

On the many rocks surrounding the islands in the fjord were seals of many shapes, sizes, and colors. Their reaction to our passing was more curiosity than fear. With no orcas in the sound to threaten them, the “seadogs” had nothing to threaten their leisurely existence.

Sharing the crags and rocky shores were a variety of sea and land birds.

Several reminders of the glaciers that roared through the area revealed themselves along the way. Rounded mountainsides showed the paths the giant ice flows took on their way to the fjord that was constantly being fed by snow melting on the distant mountain tops, providing yet another shade of green to the pristine waters.

For nearly two hours, the mind-clutter that usually filled my head, disappeared. In its place was a world where volcanoes erupted and glaciers flowed; where eagles soared and seals played; where birds sunned themselves after a fishing expedition. And where mankind wasn’t the dominant force. A little Heaven on earth, and a God-given respite.

© 2019 The Anchor and Anchor Publishing    †    Fall River, Massachusetts