In the last six years, I've grown accustomed to beaches in Prince Edward Island.
They are different from the beaches of my youth
but the essentials are the same.
Growing up in Newfoundland, I spent time with my grandparents every summer in Maddox Cove. Their house was set back and up from the ocean with Motion Bay spread out before it. The breeze through the trees and the sound of the surf were constants.
My grandparents and Uncle France enjoyed my summer visits as much as I did. However, Nan was nervous when I was around the water. She warned me to stay away from the ocean because a tidal wave would come and take me. When the other children went swimming on the beach, I was to stay out of the water.
I didn't; I wasn't going to be the only one sat on the beach. Aided by my Uncle France, I swam as much as the other kids. There was little sand on that beach, mainly beach rocks, rounded by the wave action. The North Atlantic was bitterly cold, but after a few minutes in the water, you felt warm or numb. We didn't mind it, the fun distracted us. Besides, who would admit it was too cold to swim?
Today on Prince Edward Island, the dunes are different from the shoreline of Maddox Cove. Red sand replaces beach rocks.
The water is warmer too; the Gulf of St. Lawrence is not as cold as the North Atlantic. These days I don't venture into the water; the years have washed away the desire to swim. In spite of the changes, my spirit recognizes the essence of the scene, prompted by the wind and the surf. A feeling of freedom pours forth, in sync with the ebb and flow of the tide and the breeze. It is good to be home.
Come join me for a few seconds.