“When can we go to the beach? When, Mom?”
We’d just moved to Vancouver Island from our former home in rainy Prince Rupert on the northern coast of British Columbia, Canada. There were no beaches in Prince Rupert, just the docks at Royal Fisheries where my Dad worked. Commercial fishermen berthed and off-loaded their catches at the docks and this was where my friends and I jumped into the frigid fish-gutted water. The temperature was always blue-lip cold. Continue reading
You come from a land of drama. On Vancouver Island gardens and drunks share a word: Lush. Its mountain peaks split the ski like axes and windstorms batter homes rougher than Viking invaders. Natural colour wails like a Saturday night, as unavoidable as a beach party in June.
Maybe because the last time you lived there you were an adolescent it will always be a land of Romantic Comedy, Shakespearean tragedy, The Greatest Show on Earth. Nothing, nothing, nothing in moderation. Like the farmer’s field across from your old high school known province-wide for its hallucinogenic magic mushrooms. Every fall pickers arrived and kids skipped school to harvest organically grown highs until one kid totaled his brain on a bad batch of mushrooms. Drama. Continue reading
Beaufort range, Vancouver Island, Canada
In my hometown,
on the west coast,
the mountains are big
and the people small –
in comparison. Continue reading
Not Niagara Falls
May 28 – Niagara Falls, Ontario
The meeting starts at 8:00 a.m. and I arrive at 7:00 to make sure the internet connection works, put out the name plates for the attendees, distribute expense claims, test the conference phone. With everything ready to go, I stroll outside. At 7:30 on Sunday morning the town is quiet. I saunter along the path following the lip of the Niagara River gorge to find fog and mist obscuring both the river and the Canadian falls. Continue reading
The ferry door clanged shut. Harry stood on the bow and let the wind dry his eyes as the vessel pushed away from the dock. Everything solid disappeared behind a wall of steel. Ahead he saw water fortified by saw-toothed mountains on the horizon.
“Lady, why did we have to come so far?” Continue reading