Tuesday, 25 November 2014

4:20 - the not fun one.

Finnegan- also not a morning person
There is nothing pleasant about a 4:20am alarm. It doesn't matter how soft the music is, or how gentle the kisses - 4:20am is rude.

I've never been a morning person. I was probably one of the few kids who actually celebrated Christmas that had to be roused in order to allow the festivities to start. Equally, no matter how exciting the reason for the 4:20 wake-up, I can never find one that makes me excited. Yesterday's reason for 4:20am was not overly exciting. I travelled somewhere new, but any curiosity or interest was being tempered by the temperature. It was and continues to be -32c, before any measurable windchill. I also find that rude. 4:20am and -32c. My capacity for accepting or tolerating any other rudeness this week will be significantly compromised.

I only remember one real instance of anticipatory excitement around 4:20am. It was once upon a time, when my sister and I used to visit our grandparents during the summer in Deep Bay. And it was before my pre-teen brain made the morning an impossibility to face. My grandpa used to get up before dawn to go fishing. He had a comfortable though basic Bayliner. I would hear him in the kitchen, and I would creep down the stairs. We would eat cornflakes and he would let me put sugar on mine (a great luxury I was not normally afforded at home). I would pull on my jacket and Grandpa would buckle my life jacket over top. We would then trudge towards the wharf just as the sun was coming up. Grandpa said that the sun hitting the water woke the fish up and made them hungry. It made sense to me. I usually fell back asleep, curled up on a bench until the sun woke me up and made me hungry. Quite often there were other types of forbidden treats in the boat, like powdered doughnuts or cookies, which I snacked on while the lines were set.

This is still my morning face.  Jeff sees this pout fairly regularly.
And remember, I wanted to be there.  Imagined how I looked yesterday.
A couple of spring salmon later, and lots of quiet bobbing around Denman and Hornby Islands, Grandpa and I would head back to the house, where folks would just be waking. Grandpa would clean the fish with a couple of eagles watching carefully from nearby, and then he'd make us pancakes on the griddle. The whole day was still laid out before us.

Friday, 14 November 2014

Life on the edge

I am a water baby. Born under the sign of the crab on the west coast of Vancouver Island, salt water courses through my blood. Rain, salt air and fog are essential life forces. Isolation and standing on the edge of the known bring me comfort.

I am here, next human is here-ish. Perfect. I like my personal space.
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For university, I chose to bust out on my own by moving to Montreal. Rain became snow, salt air was only constructed through the over zealous snow removal and fog was either really steam or self induced through hangover. Isolation was cultural and anonymity, and the were no edges. Montreal is the middle. But I still found the sea. Most people studied at home or the library (or didn't study), but I found my haven at the Biodome. Sure, my intertidal zone was a little too sterile, but it was one of the few places I could ground myself.

During the summers I went back to Ucluelet, back to the edge, to stare off the side of the continent. The summers recharged me, and the lack of anonymity often left me eager to escape to my cultural isolation.

Halifax is a nice balance. There's enough of a population base that you can remain somewhat anonymous, but it is situated on the edge. This past weekend, I craved that edge. Jeff, Finnegan and I went for a walk to stare off the side of the continent. I feel recharged.

We are here, next human is here-ish.  Perfect. We need out personal space.
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And over there is Muxia.  It's a long swim.

The sea at our feet and the sun on our faces.  Batteries are recharging.