EDITOR’S COLUMN | Life is outside the car

There are two kinds of people in this world: Those who go upstairs when they ride the ferry, and those who wait in their cars.

I’m a get out and smell the air kinda guy.

Without fail, no matter the season, I always head up top to the observation deck and perch on the railing. I scan the horizon for boats, hope for big waves and keep a wary eye on the gulls circling above. I usually stay until my eyes start watering from the wind. And when I can’t stomach it any longer, I circumnavigate the boat a few times looking for people I know.

It’s rare that I don’t bump into a familiar face, but of course you never know who it will be. That’s what makes it fun. A year or two ago, I was scrutinizing the front page of The Record in a news stand when a soft voice behind me said, “Don’t bother, there’s nothing good in there.” I turned around and walking past me with a good-natured grin was former Langley mayor Larry Kwarsick. I thought it was pretty funny.

Another time I was upstairs when the captain announced that the crew would be conducting mandatory training. They spent the next 10 minutes or so practicing man overboard drills,  launching and recovering the little rescue boats that are stowed upstairs. It was at sunset, and I got some rockin’ photos.

Seeing wildlife is also common, everything from seals and porpoises to the occasional whale encounter.

I admit that I crave these experiences. I look for them. You could say it’s just who I am, just like people who elect instead to stay in the car glued to their smart phones to make sure they didn’t miss the latest post on Facebook, or catch a wink, are who they are.

I suppose there’s nothing wrong with the latter, it’s just a matter of differing values, a delineation, if you will, of how people approach and view life. While it seems totally obvious now, that some people are content to sit while others can’t seem to sit still, it’s taken me all week to work out this isn’t just a clumsy metaphor — it’s a fundamental truth of the universe. Some people are content to watch life pass them by from a window.

Of course I could be mistaken. Clearly some ride the ferry more than others, and it’s probably unfair to lump daily commuters into the mix. But then again, maybe not. All I know is that the two examples of life I mentioned above would never have happened had I not taken my seat belt off and trudged up those steps.

Next Saturday, June 11, is National Get Outdoors Day, by the way. I don’t know where you’ll be, but I assure you that I won’t be on the car deck.