Monday this week I visited a writer friend on Pender Island. I felt like a kid, I was so excited, first anticipating the day, then living it. (Interesting, how one associates excitement with being young.) She’s from Winnipeg, so we exclaimed a few times about two long-time Manitobans ending up near mountain and sea. We discussed what we’re working on, encouraged one another to persist. The weather was perfect. To top it all off, Monday to Thursday, seniors ride B.C. Ferries free. Friend and free makes for an all-round pretty good day.
But speaking of water. Yes, at this relatively late stage I find myself re-located near water. Vast water, I mean, with a rhythm of its own via tides, constant intimations of ocean far beyond measure or reach, the taste of salt on my finger a reminder of what I’m on the border of. H. and I often sit on a log at Boundary Bay, staring out at it. I feel like a tourist in the presence of such water. Two hours on the ferry each way, and I kept looking up from my book to take it in, the shining blue of sea, the pale blue of sky, the dark blue of land on distant horizons. It’s so beautiful, so blue, I thought, but I can’t find words to describe the blue or what it means. I’m still a stranger to it. And alongside the awe, I’m homesick for the prairies, my earliest and longest geography, where the bulk of my history is set.
I give myself a talking-to: “Check your nostalgia. The sum of aging is change. Stay patient. Stay open to the stories and meaning (for you) of this blue.”
…consider them both, the sea and the land; and do you not find a strange analogy to something in yourself? (Herman Melville)