Saturday, May 23, 2009

A spring visit to the coast

Cape Jourimain marks the point where the graceful curve of the Confederation Bridge leaves New Brunswick shores to cross Northumberland Strait to Prince Edward Island. The bridge, at 12.9 km, is the longest bridge over ice-covered water in the world and it replaced the ferry crossing that was as much a part of my childhood PEI vacations as Anne of Green Gables, all-you-can-eat-lobster and wading ankle-deep through mud, toes searching for quahogs.

Winter travellers of long ago crossed the 18km strait in small "iceboats" that were dragged, sailed and paddled. Those with money could remain in the boats, while those without, paid their way by helping manoeuver the boats through ice and water. I wonder what they might say now, to see this great span of a bridge that brings such convenience and speed.

Before crossing to PEI, the Cape Jourimain Nature Centre asks us to pause a while to enjoy New Brunswick. Located within a protected National Wildlife Area of 675 hectares, it was designated for conservation because of the diversity of migratory waterfowl and shorebirds using area's marshes and shores. The Jourimain area, sitting at the edge of flat, scenic farmland, has a network of beautiful walking trails and observation points.

It's popular for viewing gannets, great blue herons, willets, and osprey. Even an odd mammal or two...or three...may be spotted...

This shaggy moose is part of a trio created several years ago along the shore by local artist, Peter Manchester. These quirky driftwood creatures have survived several rough winters, and while their coats were a little shabby when we visited last spring, they were still upright and sturdy.

Apropos, indeed, as our own mighty moose have withstood their share of nasty winters lately and no doubt moved into spring with a rib or two showing as well.

Monday, May 11, 2009

What is holding you back?

Today, I allow myself to let nothing get in the way of expressing my creativity.

Today, I allow myself to trust in my own light, my own purpose, my own heart.

Today, I allow myself to lean on others when I need their support.

Today, I acknowledge that deep and graceful beauty emerges from loss, but only if we work through our struggles, lift them up and allow them to create a new shape in us...if we allow them to create in us, a new hope.

What is holding you back, today?

Monday, May 4, 2009

On Golden Pond

I’ve fallen to a habit of walking to the duck pond as dusk approaches. As I make my way there, the forest is hushed, pausing to breathe perhaps, after a busy day gathering, nesting, growing. The crackle of leftover leaves and branches underfoot are the only sounds, save the distant chatter of a pair of crows.

But as I near the pond, the silence floats upwards and disappears. The ducks – blacks, mallards, shovelers - have gathered for a community feast. They are gabbing, grabbing, dipping, diving, fluttering, flying, preening and paddling.

The cacophony of babble builds. Hidden in last year’s dry reeds at shore’s edge, the frogs raise their voices, as if determined to be heard. The pond vibrates with sound and colour and energy. On the periphery, a few vigilant geese float, watching the flocks. They take their guardianship seriously, immediately notifying the group of my presence. They seem to be watching out for others, not just their own.

As the sun sets, the water shifts and glows, rippling with orange, pink and blue. Birches, cast in gold, line the bank. On cue, the chatter quiets, as if in awe of heaven’s beauty. A watery kiss and feathery forms float away, 'Vs' trailing behind. The water smooths and softens, like tie-died silk.

For a moment, I am Pisces, as real as the gurgles and cackles and croaks, as elemental as the mud and reeds and setting sun.

For a moment, I can walk on it.

For a moment, I am floating.

And then, for the barest of whispers, I am water…smooth and fluid, cool, vital...

...resourceful, inquisitive, reflective, essential, supportive.

This is why I walk here as dusk settles its weightlessness on me.