My heart, soul and all that I am belongs to the sea. I sat to write this blog about the energies of the sea (ocean) and Spirit had other ideas for me. Instead what you have here are childhood memories as a child until turning 13 when my family moved to Ottawa.
My love of the sea could be because of my family background; grandfather a fisherman, lived by the sea at our home in Cape Breton and Prince Edward Island until moving inland to Ottawa as I was about to start high school. Living on PEI they used to call me Little Annie, likely because of my carrot red hair. Looking back it was a pretty great place to be a young child and pre-teen, especially in those days when we weren’t strapped to a television set, let alone a computer.
I am sure all of those things contributed to my love of the sea, but the innermost being of me tells me that it goes far beyond those childhood memories, to memories that I now do not have. This inexplicable drawing of me, like a magnet; this burning desire to return “home to the sea,” will not go away until I find myself planted on the seashore. I am certainly closer living here in New Brunswick, but I am still in a city and still not on my father’s and grandfather’s seashore. My soul will never rest until my feet once again stroll those beaches.
All of our fun was outdoors and there was lots of outdoors to enjoy. We didn’t wait for the sun to shine. We played, frolicked and had fun no matter what kind of weather Mother Nature threw at us.
My father would shake his head at me when I left the house with a camera, in the midst of the Cape Breton Myst (what I called fog), telling me there was no sun. It didn’t matter to me. Even at the precocious age of 7 or 8 I had a camera attached to my arm no matter where I went, or the weather!
My summers were idyllic. At the time I didn’t think so, but what child does. Up to our teen years it is all about friends and summer fun and I had plenty of both.
My favourite times, however, were those walks to the seashore, with or without family or friends, it didn’t matter to me. I’d get lost in my own little world and even if they were with me I’d lose them as I revered in my imaginary world.
Even then I was a loner, not someone who needed somebody else in order to follow their heart’s promptings. I would venture down to the shore and walk for miles, stopping along the way to examine seashells, breathing deeply of the salty air that turned my curly red hair into a mop that bounced in the breezes.
I always lost track of time and would easily be gone for an entire afternoon. If no one was with me the only warning I had it was time to be heading home was the sudden cooling of the air as evening was about to visit. Late as usual, I knew the greeting I would get, so I figured why bother running back if I’m going to be in trouble. The walk back would be slow as I stopped to visit the tadpoles beneath a tiny wooden bridge running over a creek. If they were no longer there I knew they had turned and were off swimming elsewhere.
There were sheep in the fields, sometimes flocked together, other times wandering individually hither and thither. They knew where each was and when the dog came bouncing out to the fields they would begin to draw together to return home with the dog nipping behind them. I’d laugh thinking I was sure my mother would send a dog after me if she knew that it would nip at my heels to get me moving.
Walking the bit of the somewhat paved roadway (they called it a highway) to the house I’d visit with the snakes in the ditch, occasionally seeing one so bloated I knew he was dining on a frog as the lump slowly moved down within his body. Ugh was all I could think; ugh! There were cats tails, dandelions, buttercups and clover flowers scattered through the ditches and the tall grasses of the fields.
Further away in the distance, the fields melded and disappeared into the forests that embraced them like the loving arms of a parent. They remained mysterious to me. I never saw anyone coming out of the forests and as far as I knew no one ever walked to or through them. They looked much like the forests on the other side of the road that crusted the hill on our family property.
As kids we would wander through the forests on our property, looking for wild berries and other things. Of course all my brothers wanted to do was explore, play western types of cowboys, pull logs and put them together in makeshift forts and then shoot at me. Their weapon of choice was always a slingshot and they used the berries I had picked for mom, chasing me and staining my shirt and shorts as I tried to escape their onslaught.
Those were amazing and idyllic times for me as a young girl, and I was so blessed to be able to spend the first 13 years of my life on both Cape Breton Island and Prince Edward Island. Like I said, at the time I never thought much about it, other than to complain because of some family upset, or some sibling being a jerk; or, as a selfish child, wishing I had my friend’s parents because they were so easy going and generous.
I can honestly say that having my parents was the most amazing gift Creator could have given me. Oh, life wasn’t always that great and at times it was pretty difficult. But in the big picture, I know that my parents, the parents of my seven siblings and me, were the best parents they could be with what they knew and who they were.
It seems to me that in this world we now live in, just to be able to say that you have two parents who were always your two parents is in and of itself a miracle.
This is not what I intended to write about, but obviously Spirit was reminding me of some of the reasons I sat to write about the sea. These memories that Spirit reminded me of have evoked many emotions and feelings of being healed; some are soothing, sad, lonely, happy, angry; all emotions of this human being.
Taken together all of those emotions form the picture of a childhood that was filled with blessings and I am glad to have been able to recall these and share them with you. Find your joy in everything. It is there. Sometimes we just need to revisit.