The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient. To dig for treasures shows not only impatience and greed, but lack of faith. Patience, patience, patience, is what the sea teaches. Patience and faith. One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach—waiting for a gift from the sea. – Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift from the Sea
I was raised on the west coast of Canada and spent my childhood summers at the beach. As much as I appreciate the many great things about my current life the great distance between my home and the sea is a source of ongoing lament. Fortunately I am blessed with both the means and the opportunity to leave my landlocked home and visit the sea every once in a while. The most recent of these opportunities came at the end of September when I spent 5 amazing days in a beach house in Tofino, British Columbia with a group of dear friends/wonderful and inspiring photographers. Tofino is located on the west coast of Vancouver Island and is known for having some of the best surf beaches in the area, including the one that was literally on the doorstep of the house we were staying in.
I’ve always been fascinated with surfers and surf culture. Perhaps it’s a function of growing up on the west coast in the 1980’s when California and surf brands like Ocean Pacific were the height of aspirational culture and fashion. I even tried surfing myself once – in my twenties – coincidentally on the very beach in Tofino where we were staying.
In planning for this trip I had visions of capturing surfers and surf culture with my Polaroids, inspired in large part by Joni Sternbach’s amazing tin type portraits of surfers.
While it’s not quite the series that I’d hoped to get, I consider these few images to be among the many gifts brought to me by the sea that week.
Debra – Manifeisty