tofino storms - happy thoughts on lousy weather

Tofino Storms: Happy thoughts on lousy weather

by Beni Spieler, Tofino

A aaaahh...I can remember way back, when I was still a child, waking up for school in the morning. Noticing the house was freezing, and that none of the lights worked.

Then that magical realization that the power was out, which of course, by all logic and fairness, meant that school was totally cancelled.

It also meant that the toaster was dead.

Which was of course my favourite source of food at the time--still is actually--and that I'd have to actually get creative for my breakfast.

Luckily my dad, seeing as without power he couldn't do his work, (he pretends he hates this but he loves it), would notice my actions and prevent my destroying the world with whatever diabolical kitchen creation I could muster at the time. Now you may be asking, what does a power outage and toaster related trauma have to do with anything?

No? Why not? I think it's a fair question. Ask it. Seriously! Fine, I'll tell you anyway, and here it is:

It's Almost Winter in Tofino! (Did you see that coming? I did!) That magical time of year where we can still try to pretend we may see sunshine sometime in the next couple of weeks.

Today our topic is going to be one of my favourite ones.

We name shops after them! We sell them to the tourists! We love to watch them like a bunch of creepy voyeurs too entranced to get involved.

Our word of the day is... storms!

We're special for our storms. Granted--we are pretty used to them, but most of the world isn't. We treat them as casually as most people would treat snow.

Which is ironic, because we actually have a field day when we get snow in Tofino. On the rare occasions that we do, anyway. I mean most of us are probably more likely to regale people with stories about the 'Big Snow of Yester Year' than a story about that huge storm we had thirty minutes ago, and an hour ago, and that one that kind of squeezed in last minute on Tuesday and mucked up my hat.

I think this attitude is hilarious of course.

I can remember it like yesterday, sitting in Beaches and watching the clouds through the door. Someone coming in and mentioning off-hand that a storm is on the way. No warning in his voice, just casually mentioning it while I charge him for his coffee so he can get back to work. Even better, my only reaction was that I should maybe put a sweater on.

But for all the casualness, and lack of fear we have for our storms, you rarely hear anyone talking about how wonderful they are. Sure, they're an inconvenience sometimes, but what isn't when put in a certain light?

We all have some happy storm related memories, every single one of us. Maybe it's being forced to fill your whole house with candles and get the fire going in the oven. Followed by a cozy game of Clue or Monopoly with your kids who no longer have the tv to distract them because the power is dead.

Perhaps its throwing on a wet suit and having a laugh at the "Wave Hazard Sign" as it desperately tries to stop you from going out onto the water to spend the day harnessing the turbulent energies of the ocean for some insane surfing.

Maybe its standing around on the beach fighting with a lighter, and having a laugh with some friends while you dodge driftwood and get chased by the water.

The gentle sound of the rain turning into the violent but inspiring sound of the wind fighting with the trees and everything else in its way for that matter.

The sight of a wave curling into itself, as if seeking warmth in a vast cold body, before crashing and sending itself further towards its pre-determined destination.

Walking on the sand the day after, all of it flat and smooth, the texture feeling something not un-like walking on cheese cake. No matter what the memory, you have one, and it has moved you in the same way that a storm moves the world around you.

Born during a rare snow storm in Vancouver, Beni spent much of his life growing up in Tofino. His favourite books as a kid was 'A walk in the Rain'.

Tofino Time Magazine November 2008

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Tofino storms are a tourist attraction, the namesake of a Tofino surf shop and Beni's favourite weather in Tofino!

tofino time november 2008