WAT’S UP – Adam Sawatsky

Grounded in a storm

We don’t notice her at first. The waves erupting from the stormy sea are upstaging her. It’s the movement of her arms rising to take a photo that catches our attention. She’s just small dot in the distance surrounded by turbulent weather.

“I love storms,” she shouts, her enthusiasm barely audible through the wind. “The waves. The nature. It’s just gorgeous.”

But in this moment – along Ross Bay – Eve is alone with her admiration. Nobody else is braving the weather. We ask what she’s doing. She attempts to show us a picture on her phone. “It’s not something that most people have seen.”

Her screen is covered with salt spray and we can’t decipher the three things she shows us. So Eve agrees to take us there.

As the videographer captures footage of our journey, Eve tells us her parents would have appreciated this. They would walk alongside the waves and hike through the wilderness until they died just weeks before their 70th wedding anniversary – just nine days apart. Eve says this daily walk she takes is one of the ways she connects with how they were.

“They taught me to be kind to everybody and enjoy life, which they did.”

And then she stops at a massive, upturned tree stump that another storm had hurled ashore. There are images carved on the ends of its thick roots. “It was really nice for somebody to do something like that for everybody to see,” she says with a smile. It’s the type of thing her parents would have appreciated.

She points up to a carved owl peering down from the top left of the stump; then down to the right: a face. They are images that remind Eve of what she calls the best thing that ever happened to her – her now adult daughter. “Because she likes to carve too.”

And then we realize why Eve ends her walks here. She’s impressed by the stump’s resilience. “It’s never gone anywhere. Not even in the biggest storm.” This is a place that grounds her when her world feels unsettled.

As she walks away from us feeling, “relaxed and stress-free,” we remember she mentioned there were three things she wanted to show us. We look on the other side of where the owl and face are carved and find a heart carved in the wood with wings unfurled. And that’s when we understand that Eve does not do her daily walks alone; she’s accompanied by the people who continue to make her heart soar.

Adam Sawatsky is an anchor-reporter at CTV News Vancouver Island. On weekends, he hosts ‘Eye on the Arts’ on CFAX 1070.

 

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