Thursday October 30th, 2008
Summer has slipped by, as slick as a seal sliding down a kelpy rock.
The dock and boats are out of the surf, and I have just a few kayaks left out of storage.
Today being a flat calm day, and with a Honey-do list a fathom long and a potential cause in conflicting priorities, I found myself once again slipping into the sea.
While exploring the northern Reach, I couldn’t help noticing how high the tides were and how everything that had drifted over the summer months seemed to have congregated in the eastern end of the harbor.
I always have difficulty with plastics, bottles and bags that tend to hang around and litter our beautiful shoreline. I want to say “Wait a minute, you’re in the wrong place, and don’t you know you’re not welcome here?” It gives me the feeling that I’m in the wrong place.
They remind me of a not so pleasant experience I once had in the Bronks .
After a game of hurling, I had over-indulged and overstayed my welcome in a popular pub, and while meandering through the streets trying to find the underground, I found myself in the wrong side of town. I was approached by a few thugs who questioned me as to my reason for being in this part of town and in particular on their side of the street. They didn’t cause me any harm, but said “Bro! You’re on the wrong side of town!” and promptly escorted me to the nearest subway station.
I felt those same sensations this morning when I came upon a cove full of human trash. Knowing that either it or I was in the wrong place and displacing negative energy.
Was I to try and pick up every blubber-laden piece o’trash or was I going to go on my way and accept that I am powerless over certain things? The latter prevailed and I was off around the next point where it was clean and the energy positive.
On my journey back up the Reach there was a gentleman at the end of his pier cleaning his shovel.
“Some day we’re having” said he. “Yes indeed” I said “it is that indeed”
I shared that we are fortunate to live in such a beautiful place and that just last weekend I had toured Connoire Bay, Hope Brook, Otters Point, Upper Barasway and all points in between.
We chatted a little and I was soon to find out that his dad grew up on Otter Point just an hour west of Burgeo.
Only in Burgeo and in a kayak could such fellowship unfold.
As the Man, on perched knee, and leaning over the head of the wharf spoke, the man in the kayak was able to put all things from the eastern cove to one side and take in the story!
He goes on:” You see as a boy I frequently visited that area with Dad. And once upon a time there was a school, church, and even a store at the point”.
He continued by saying that one summer in particular, he spent a whole month at Connoire while his dad lobster-fished.
As he shifted weight from one knee to the other he also put a new twist to the story.
“Lobsters! You’ve never seen such as that summer, we could go down to the cove at low tide, lift the kelp and pick your choice. Father always told us that if we want lobsters next summer, we’d best not keep the spawny ones.”
Them were the days he said, and there was enough fish and lots to do.
I said that we have lost a lot of communities in the last 50 years and that most have no resemblance of even being inhabited. Yet to a degree they were self -sufficient.
We chatted about what it was like back then, what brought us to where we’re at, and how it is now.
We even tried to project as to how it will be in the next 50 years.
We agreed that there was nothing to keep the next generation here, and that the world had a stronger magnetic pull today than it did when we were boys.
The father and son operations in small skiffs went to the way of the trawlers and fish plants.
The fish plant that used to employ hundreds of people, now only employs a handful of men on a part-time basis processing fish meal, and instead of being an asset to the community it pollutes the air and water and impedes any form of ecotourism from happening.
Folks are reluctant to complain or give the plant owners a hard time as there is still that underlying hope that somewhere, somehow, things might become the way they were, and we would be a booming town once again.
So, as with the blubber-infested plastic bags and bottles, few bother to even take a stand or rock the boat so to speak.
And like the naive Newfoundlander, who while in the Bronx found himself on the wrong side of the street, the only self-preserving solution is to find the next subway, plane, or just take a few strokes east or west and fly with the eagles. Go out to sea, go down the coast or just move on.
Just another day on Dorim’s wharf.