Love and Amphitrite
There are only a few special moments in a person’s life that will stay fresh in their memory for a lifetime. One, I know you will agree, is the day that the man you want to spend the rest of your life with pops the question.
It is a story that is told over and over to children and then to grandchildren. Most stories grow over time but I can’t imagine this story being made any more perfect with time’s exaggerations.
We were delighted this Christmas holiday to have a fabulous couple, Trevor & Ozlem, from Edmonton come to stay at the B&B. Leaving winter behind, they arrived to fabulous weather for their entire stay. This takes more luck than planning since winter does have unpredictable weather. However, luck often follows great planning, and since Trevor is in the business of planning and organizing, luck was with him on this special holiday.
With the sunset about to throw magic into the air, Trevor walked Ozlem down to Amphitrite Lighthouse, an engagement ring burning a hole in his pocket, and his heart beating on his sleeve. All was perfect up to that point, and not wanting to over prepare, there was no script for what was to come next. Trevor, like so many men in the same position, became nervous and lost sight of what to say. What was about to happen was beyond any amount of planning.
As Ozlem was enjoying the breathtaking ocean sunset, and Trevor was trying to find the words, a humpback whale rose to the surface and blew in front of them.
It is indeed a very rare sighting to have humpbacks in this area in December. Furthermore, this sighting followed the worst whale watching summer ever where, for the first time in 14 years, whales could not be found. Yet, there they sat with beautiful warm weather, the sun setting, and a whale magically appearing from the depths of the ocean. Following on the tails of Ozlem’s "wow" from the whale, Trevor handed her the ring. It gives me goose bumps every time I think of their special moment, but there is more to this story.
The lighthouse in Ucluelet is named after the Greek Goddess, Amphitrite. According to the Greek legend, Poseidon, god of the ocean, saw Amphitrite dancing and fell in love with her. Amphitrite fled from these advances to Atlas. The dolphins followed her and spoke persuasively on behalf of Poseidon. The dolphins seemed to do the trick because Amphitrite lives in legends as Poseidon’s wife.
(Lighthouse painting by Amanda Jones)
Just as the dolphins interceded with Poseidon, so did the whale precede Trevor’s proposal. I am sure that with or without the whale Trevor would have formed the perfect words and I am equally convinced that Ozlem would have said "yes". And yet, there is something so magical about being immersed in a breathtaking natural setting and have the setting participate so perfectly.
Trevor and Ozlem will become man and wife next fall surrounded by their by their supportive friends and loving family in Turkey. With Turkey having coastlines on four different seas, it is my hope that the cetaceans living in the depths of those seas will continue to take part in the union of this wonderful couple.
Thank you for the eloquent (and surprisingly accurate!) write-up of our special moment. Your account will serve as the definitive version in the re-telling; in fact, my mom has already forwarded it to her friends and I'm sure we will be doing the same.
We couldn't be happier with the memory we will always have of our Ucluelet engagement - thanks again!
Ozlem + Trevor