Sunday, 27 August 2006


I'm not sure where to start.

This could be a three or four-part ramble of extreme proportion. So many thoughts, so many realizations, so many changes and lessons and lightbulb moments that smacked me right between the eyes. Believe me, the euphoria of this trip was equally matched by emotional rollercoasters that left permanent aches in my soul. I think I said a similar thing once before, something about being built up only to be torn down over and over again. Well, it was like that.

We arrived and were instantly thrust into the arms of my entire extended family, who were anxious to suffocate us to death with family events and outings and get-togethers, and then we were alternately loathed at arms length when I reminded all of them rather bluntly that I was here for a reason and it wasn't human, much as I had warned them previously on the phone. I was here to reconnect with the ocean. And lose some mental baggage. And breathe deeply. And escape from two decades of being told what to do and how it would be done. I can't say it was pretty. Jacob even waded into the fray, exchanging some tense words with my father over how my first vacation in a very long time would be conducted with our own itinerary, and not theirs. Rather brutal but mercifully after that night everything evened out, everyone backed off, and I was on my way without guilt or remorse.

So I'm terrible. I'm also the youngest child of the family and my behavior is legendary. I did make sure to love up everyone until they were almost bruised from my attentions before we left so it all worked out in the end.

So our first order of business was to drop everything and run to the ocean. We opted to drive to Point Pleasant Park in Halifax and visit Black Rock Beach first. It was raining, windy, glorious.
I ignored the weather and the rocks and the general gray miserable expanse of shoreline and waded in, shoes and all, halfway to my knees. I instantly forgot everything I had ever known and was struck silent, dumbed and unable to move. I looked out and took a very deep breath. Oh my god my ears hurt so badly from the wind because my hood wouldn't stay up, I've lost the string on my sweater. Looking down amongst the garbage strewn from storms the rocks hid dozens of pieces of sea glass. We filled our pockets with that glass and it's now on my kitchen windowsill. I actually held myself together for a whopping forty seconds before I snapped and decided I had to move back.


Not to Halifax though. Too close to the masses, the suffocative blood relatives and friends that remain so small-town and unable to see past their own wants and needs, not that I blame them.

Nope. Shortly before Cole accepted a job out west we had settled into a pattern of taking drives from Halifax to Lunenburg via Bayswater, and we would pass through Aspotogan and the two rolling and winding coves that mark the beauty of this tiny dot of land. Of course there's a big white farmhouse for sale, there's land available and it's affordable even. I never told Cole I wanted to live there but I always wished I could. Jacob hadn't been through the area so as he drove I asked him what he thought and he told me we should write down the for sale sign information and look into buying something here because it was beautiful.

The smile didn't come off my face for days.

It did come off eventually though. I'm a realist. This move could take a year or two. Maybe more. But at least we've got a goal to shoot for, whether you'd call it a plan or a pipe dream. Because being there was a thousand times easier than being here, even with the problems of logistics and overbearing relatives, a higher cost of living and the wind. The damn wind I loved. So worth it. In every way possible.

Of course the next trip home won't have the exhaustive itinerary as we ambitiously set out to cover every inch of the maritimes with our presence. I'm sick to death of ferry rides. I have decided PEI and I weren't meant to get along well, so Bridge got on the bridge and left it. I missed Shediac by minutes. Minutes, girls. I was so close, and yet I was so close to a mental departure of sorts from exhaustion that Jacob left the road further down and we drove to Joggins instead, spending the entire afternoon looking for neat rocks and then being forced to drive all the way back to the south shore in the dark.

I met Newfoundland. Dear god I couldn't understand a word anyone said but I never laughed so hard in my entire life. And I saw every little part about what makes up Jacob, because his family is like one giant puzzle and when you put it together it forms a hug and you can breathe and you never want to not be in the middle of that. He lived there until he was past twenty years old and he goes back at least once a year. Amazing what that kind of environment can do for a human being to make them so damn good. I saw sides of him I was astounded by. He saw the rest of me. We left the east coast closer, stronger and more honest with each other than we were before, if that were even possible. We fell in love again.

The kids had a blast. They have even more grandparents and great grandparents and cousins now, they have new relatives who love them as if they have been there since day one and we are blessed beyond belief.

But really, I can't see the people. Every time I close my eyes I see the blinding sparkle of the waves on the sand, and feel the wind untying my braids with cool fingers and the salt painting a film upon my lips that tastes better than any cake I have ever tried. What a beautiful feeling.

Of course there was all kinds of bad stuff. Not today though. I'll write about it tomorrow. Then I promise we're going back to good writing about good things. And maybe a few pictures. While I feel brave. Or something.