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Running with Peter - Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021
Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021 @ 10:24 pm
A Weekend in Trinity
Being here is a deep breath, a slowing down. I put my phone away for the week. Being without my phone feels like skinny dipping - initially terrifying but then shifting to exhilaration and freedom.
Earlier in the week, down at the south end of the Avalon Peninsula, I was out walking on the landwash. I picked up crab shells (Atlantic rock crab, snow crab) and pocketed wish rocks. I examined a large bone, which I later found out - through conversation - was from a decomposing whale that’d washed up on shore a month prior. I was wearing a sundress and leather ankle boots, the weather unnervingly warm despite the grey skies and the rocky shore requiring practical footwear.
I was heading back to the yellow-painted one-room rental cabin when a woman waved hello to me from up the road. She was out for a smoke, her dog rooting around in the wayside.
I said hello and walked up to meet her. We talked for a while, and soon she invited me into her house, and then I was sitting on her couch and her dog was laying it’s head on my knee as I questioned the woman about her life.
I could hear the roar of the rocks being tumbled in the waves. The air was fragrant with woodsmoke. Down there, in a village tucked in beside a cove in the midst of a windswept barren, I was in a home getting to know someone. Warmth and laughter and comfort.
We are not meant to be alone.
Days later, we are up near Bonavista staying in an old fishing village with Russell’s brother’s family. I am out one evening playing ball with Tessa (age 9) and the sunset is showy with streaks of pink. It’s one of those dreamy moments of complete and utter presence. Laughing and playing and out of breath. The sound of the ball against the asphalt, the thump against the backboard, the swish of the net. Someone drives by and waves. There is music coming from a nearby shed. Men are cleaning fish down on the bay.
I didn’t realize that I’d get her - a nine year old girl - out of this relationship. A girl who has similar features and mannerisms and sayings as the man that I’ve come to love. I adore her and yet I don’t yearn for her to be my own. There is an interesting absence of sadness or loss. Only gratitude for being able to spend time with her.
The yearning and sadness? It’s there when I look around the town. At the brightly painted houses and the laughter coming from the shed party. I realize that I hadn’t allowed myself to fully mourn that aspect of the loss during the breakup, that I had to leave the mountain town while he got to stay. That I had to leave the community that I was building around myself. That I had to leave behind my attic room and my vegetable patch and my neighbours and the lady mountain biking crew and my office slash beer drinking mates. This place reminds me of what I left behind, of what is impossible to recreate living in an urban core.
One night, in that vacation house there in Trinity with Russell's family, torrential rain falls, the remnants of a hurricane. The rain pounds on the roof. I wake and lay there listening to the storm. Russell stirs beside me. He rolls over and tucks into me, kisses my neck. We lay there and listen to the storm together, his cool body a balm against my hot skin.
Newfoundland. The landscape was more treed than I’d expected. Balsam fir and black spruce growing low in tuckamore thickets. Moss and partridge berry and crowberry and creeping winterberry. A myriad of mushrooms pushing forth from the reclining tangle. Windswept barrens and just plain exposed rock. Rain one minute and sun the next.
The most desolate landscape. Lonesome lighthouses out on uninhabited capes. A short growing season and destructive storms that cause life to start anew, over and over.
And yet, there, I felt included, warm, and at home.