here and there

There, at this time of year, I’d be in my kayak just as often as possible, throwing Lulabelle onto the roof of my twenty-three year old Camry (best car in the world) and heading to a small local marsh connected at one end to Lake Ontario but me and Lulabelle staying in the pond where it’s pristine and quiet, just us and the banks of earth-fragrant reeds, egrets, a blue heron colony, thousands of blackbirds rising in clouds at dawn and disappearing-who-knows-where, the magnificent swan ballet, a family of deer watching us from shore, an eagle named Eddie.

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But I am here now, and not there, and Lulabelle is in our new garage still waiting to be dipped into something briny. I’ve been too busy getting from there to here, too busy unpacking and putting in a garden, harvesting berries from the dozens of bushes (blueberries, haskaps, blackberries) that are also here, discovering beaches and tides, where to dig clams, pick oysters off rocks, which seaweeds are tastiest. Busy getting to know the landscape and marvelling at maritime skies, finding the farmers who grow veggies the old-fashioned way, raise meat and eggs ethically, who bake bread and pies and croissants, who make cheese and soap, a mill that will spin your wool for you, a young family of fisherwomen and men where we buy fresh haddock and smoked salmon and the corner mom and pop grocery that sells off-the-boat mussels every Friday.

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There, at this time of year I would take my breakfast, a banana, yoghurt, tea, and park in the lily pads with a book.

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Here I walk barefoot on sand, naming every bend on the shoreline: First Point, Second Point, Toad Point, What’s the Point, Around the Bend, Sandy Point, and Bring a Chair Cove.

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There, at this time of year, the marsh closes to paddling to allow the birds peace as they prepare for migration.

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Here there are apples to harvest and juice, rows of berry bushes to clean up.

But unlike there, here our paddling destination remains open until freeze-up and while I am both excited and nervous to paddle tidal waters for the first time, Lulabelle is calm and ready and as eager here as she ever was there.

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10 thoughts on “here and there

  1. Honest to Pete, you bring tears to my eyes. Every word lands like a perfect gem to be fit into the filigree of delight crafted for our reading. It just makes me angry with myself that I didn’t arrange for occasional cups of tea and chitchat when you were a mere few kilometers distant. But there you go, life is a long list of should haves and I should have learned that by now.

    A lovely post, indeed — evoking all the senses and those photographs bring even more pleasure to the screen. Here’s to bringing us more from there to here.
    Ruth

    1. Oh, Ruth, your words are landing pretty niftily too, thank you. I know. Tea and chitchat. That’s the thing, though, eh? When you know it’s easy to do it’s also easy to put off. Would have been lovely indeed. One of the things I miss most is all that tea and chat I didn’t have with people who were just a spit away… signed, a more often than not hermit. xo

  2. Thank you for such a beautiful post painting such a great picture of your new surroundings. You write beautifully and your words made me yearn for a new adventure! The east coast is beautiful, wishing you many happy memories there!

  3. I’m happy you picked up your pen again. This is a lovely meditation on place. The photos are so atmospheric.
    What’s the Point is the best ever name for a point.
    I’m pretty sure Lulabelle is patiently waiting for when you’re ready.

  4. Something I love about you is the way you find beauty and mystery every place you go. Another thing I love is how you describe those things. Thanks for letting us tag along on your adventures.

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