During a regular Skype chat with some dear friends in BC yesterday, I was initially at a loss for words because our lives these past few weeks seemed to have been fairly mundane. “No, they’re not,” says Peter. Of course, suddenly one word or moment of recall triggers the collapse of the cerebral dam, and stories tumbled out, and mostly didn’t sound at all boring or mundane – although our friends might beg to differ!
However, when I sat down to write this blog, my mind was transported into a somewhat philosophical mode, that I hope excuses any staggering off topic or meanderings and musings that may tumble out of my head. It occurred to me that I might bore the socks off some readers, but each time I upload our news there’s, thankfully, always regular feedback. Not always from the same people, and maybe sometimes readers are simply being kind-hearted. After all, many of us lead busy lives so who am I to expect validation that my writing is either interesting, motivating or exhilarating. Or, conversely that someone fell asleep by the end of the opening sentence! However, first and foremost, years down our somewhat adventurous ‘living’ road, I’ll likely read my own blog posts and fondly recall the world as it was! So, I could say that my blog has become a sort of self-fulfilling journal – a technological memory bank in case my mental acuity ever fails.
It then occurred to me: My written words are only mine at the moment they’re recorded onto my laptop, but by posting them publicly I’m gifting them to recipients, so they now become your words. In other words (LOL), how you read them, and how you contextualize or embroider them into your own minds and lives, could be quite different. How often do we read books, watch movies, or see plays unfold in real time and form a personal opinion that might be far removed from someone else’s perspective. Genetically, no one is out of the same mold (with the exception of direct relatives), so our perceptions are based on educational, experiential and spiritual learnings from the day we’re born and, therefore, personal history impacts decisions and pathways throughout our lives. Of course, the art of navigation can sometimes, or often, leave us adrift in a sea of self-doubt, but eventually we plant our feet on dry land and chart a new course, or simply wait for a fair wind to decide for us.
‘Each to their own’ might be a somewhat hackneyed cliché, but it speaks to personal preferences and choices, and a life that one person views as adventurous would send someone else screaming for the hills….
The past few weeks have been absolutely glorious – not too hot and buggy, early morning or late afternoon walks along miles of fabulously quiet beaches, swimming for the dogs, although we’ve yet to join them as the ocean still feels decidedly chilly. Everyone tells us that September and October are the best months for enjoying dips in warmer water – so we’ll have to wait and see whether they’re being truthful or overly optimistic. Either way, we’re enjoying watching the surfers pick up the perfectly curling waves along Cherry Hill Beach – and so far ignoring a slight tingling sensation that we should perhaps invest in wetsuits and surf boards to relive the early years of our married life. My abiding, if not happiest memory is getting caught in a rip current off a Cornish beach nearly 40 years ago, but thankfully the beaches here, certainly at this time of year, attract even the youngest generation with their body boards in total safety – and often with no wetsuit protection. Ah! The ability of the young not to feel the cold!
The past two afternoons, with less than a handful of people along a five-kilometre stretch of sand, with surfers bobbing along the break waiting to catch the rising tide, we were blessed to witness a hunting osprey – Nova Scotia’s provincial bird for good reason – looking to pluck his or her dinner from the shallows. Always heading into the wind so as to stop dead and hover, then a sudden folding of the wings, dropping precisely on target like an arrow into a bullseye, and a few wet flaps to become air-bourne with a speared fish clutched in the talons. A timely escape before his/her feathers are swamped by an incoming wave. What is it that makes raptors so majestic? For weeks now, we’ve been watching a clutch of three osprey chicks exercising their flight feathers from a man-made nesting platform close to the Petite Riviere firehall. Eventually, the parents tire of feeding them, and depart – with hunger prompting the young to finally leave the nest before they starve. What stories the parents must tell in order for their offspring to hunt and survive on their own, and the genetic programming that prepares them for life until they find their own breeding partner.
I’ll sign off for now, but will return soon as we’ll be attending a play reading this coming weekend at a prominent festival organized in Port Medway – an annual series that has hosted such esteemed Canadian writers as Margaret Attwood, Elizabeth and Michael Ondatje. On Saturday, the only tickets we were in time to snag for the 2019 series, we’ll be seeing Tomson Highway (yes, his name made me smile, too), an indigenous Canadian Cree playwright, novelist and children’s author, who has been the recipient of many awards. So, TH will likely kick-off my next blog, by which time the kitchen should be completely finished and ready to be photographed…