The Tide Changes Quickly
When autumn rolls around, there’s an anticipation in the air. The anticipation of new beginnings and fresh starts– packing away summer memories and embracing (hopefully) the cool evenings and golden afternoons of fall.
I’ve always been drawn to transitional seasons- fall and spring. Perhaps it’s the call to transform, the acknowledgement and acceptance of change. Maybe we don’t always embrace it, but we know it’s coming. It gives us permission to not know, to be prepared for things to fall away and allow new things to take their place. We feel it in the subtle shift of the sun and the yellowing leaves.
This summer unravelled with scenic road trips, lazy afternoons, culinary experiments and long hikes. It was a time to reconnect with nature and root myself in places I’ve never been to. I travelled to Nova Scotia with my Dad (who I hadn’t seen in 2 years) and my sister – a reunion and rediscovery of our relationship with each other. We met many kind people, from the baker in Cheticamp who brewed us a fresh pot of coffee even though he was closed, to the vendor who didn’t charge my dad for his ice cream cone. We met people who rise to the tide, who have memorized the cycles of the sea in their blood, who can smell whales before their sleek bodies appear through the mist of the ocean.
In Cape Breton, we stayed at the Maven Gypsy, a lovely yellow house on the Cabot Trail, where the rooster crowed at odd hours and the gentle waves of the ocean lulled us to sleep at night. Despite the rain, we decided to hike the Skyline Trail. Soaked and silenced by the sudden revelation of rolling hills descending into the sea, our exhaustion transformed into gratitude.
In Digby, I met local hero, Greg Turner, of GAEL Tours, who led us to the shoreline at Port Prim and taught us about the incredible biodiversity of The Bay of Fundy. During our tour, he explained the connection between predators, plankton and periwinkles– that even the smallest creatures have the ability to survive against the odds. At one point during the tour, he asked us to be silent and listen. He asked us to listen to the crashing waves and distant song of shorebirds, to become acutely aware of the salt spray on our lips and and the slimy seaweed under our feet– to acknowledge that we are standing on the ocean floor.
We gasped as the landscape transformed before our eyes- the horizon blurring into the sea, the sea rising into smoke. We followed a ship until it disappeared into the fog. We traced russet lines on rocks and watched barnacles feed.
A day full of magic. A place full of magic.
Reminders from Nova Scotia:
Fog can lift the spirit.
Sit with place. Allow yourself to be humbled by it.
D0 what you can with what you have, and what you have will be all you need.
Make a local difference instead of trying to change the entire world.
The tide rises quickly, so pay attention.
So why mourn the end of summer? Why not embrace the changing tides?
My heart has been packed away with sea salt and periwinkles, smooth stones and driftwood– but I’m ready. I’m ready to make a little room for fiery leaves and the golden light of September.
What are you ready for?