Shine Like Diamonds
On my 15th birthday, my father offered to take me on a whale-watching tour off the coast of Tofino, British Columbia. Knowing that I’d live forever and so would the whales, I naturally declined, instead asking him for a green fleece vest — a style popular that winter. I could always go see a big, dumb fish swim around. To be fashion forward at the day lodge, now that was a thing of beauty.
It took me 20 years to finally see a whale in the wild. The fleece vest lasted two years before I decided on its inherent dork status and relegated it to the back of the closet to make room for the next best thing. New goggles every season. New jackets well before the Gore-Tex has given out on the old. Toques updated accordingly for each kit. If it were up to the brands, they’d have you replace your snowboard every season. “How could you not?” they ask. “We make them better every 12 months.” C’mon.
Happiness through purchase is flawed. The act of buying will not satiate. Only the act you’re truly seeking — skiing, travel, love, risk — can do that. We know this, but we continue to commit the sin of temptation through retail. The remorse of impulse purchase is evident in the packed closets and gear rooms we clean out every Thanksgiving. In the end, we wear the same favourite articles over and over. When we put on cherished, worn clothing and equipment, it’s usually with friends, in the wild, soaking up a fresh, vibrant adventure far from the retail experience. The memories formed stay with us longer than fashion does, and the older the memory becomes, the more we share its story.
We founded Coast Mountain Culture Magazine five years ago and Kootenay Mountain Culture Magazine 15 years ago. The tales of the incredible characters, writers and raconteurs that have lived in these pages are a source of pride for everyone who works here. We are honoured to have shared the stories that make up our community. Always for free. Always for you.
Last year, when I finally saw the barnacled fluke of a gray whale break the surface, I was lost for words. When its great back crested again, it misted the sky with exhalation. My heart swelled and broke. I’ve already forgotten what model of sunglasses I was wearing, but I’ll be able to recall the way the light shined like diamonds off the Pacific Ocean for the rest of my life.
From Coastlines, by Mike Berard, Editor CMC