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my first nova scotia

October 22, 2010

I went to Nova Scotia in mid August for a week, and in the typical fashion- took lots of notes as well as 2 rolls of pictures that didn’t turn out except for one blurry shot Dave took of me reclining on the rocks at Peggy’s Cove.

I guess that the time to talk about Nova Scotia came and went, but watching the east coast showcase at indie week last Saturday night had me thinking about that laidback week in Nova Scotia. The night we Dave and I flew into Halifax was one of those rare nights when the aurora borealis was actually visible over Oshawa (Toronto has too much light pollution)- and as we flew east we watched the show through the plane window while listening to Gord Downey.

It was a wonderful trip. Dave’s parents were the perfect hosts for us. They let us stay at their cottage in the middle of blissful nowhere, as well as taking us to Peggy’s Cove and Mahoney Bay. We’d watch stupid movies, get sick to our stomaches from smoking leisurely cigars with Dave’s dad after catching frogs in the lake, and stay up all night drinking whiskey and playing the guitar. On the last night before we left the cottage, Dave took me out for a canoe ride in the dark and named all the constellations for me. Then we left for Bear River where Dave’s Uncle was having a big 60th birthday potluck and bonfire. It was a great time. I got to meet the whole Knox clan. Dave brought his guitar and played with Steve. I sang some harmonies with them. Aparently Dave is quite known in town for his guitar playing. Probably because he was the first act to ever play the Rebekah.

In the morning after the party we went into town to check out the Bear River Farmer’s Market which is held on Sundays. Dave’s aunt Flora is a painter and often sells her paintings there, although she took this particular morning off. John was there selling his excellent, locally roasted Sissiboo coffee (named after Sissiboo Road which runs through the town). It seems like everyone in that town is an artist in one way or another and there were lots of art and preserves for sale. Then for the end of the trip Dave’s sister Kyla and her husband took us in for 2 nights so that we could see Halifax, and we had fun running around the city.

Well, my pictures may not have turned out- but I did write a few words and make a few drawings to mark the occasion.

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my first nova scotia
is sitting in the back seat of your dad’s car
a red pontiac cavalier
trying to fight off carsickness     an uphill battle
today the road is lined with so many trees
they watch us    pilgrims from the west
parade along this highway

i want to be a tourist in my own country
i want to look at tree tops
like tom tompson painted
and wonder if these these trees are virgins,
wild    untouched    by men

you are of this land    though you do not know the names of the trees
the road has passed many kilometres under your feet
your wheels
you were a planter
one summer for a logging company
in this rock-torn    wind blown     province
you tore apart houses and built them    new faces
in shelburne    you were miserable in the shadows of the windmills
in the autumn the cold rains     the smell of rotting leaves and damp wool
make you yearn for wet vancity

but i am new here and the atlantic air makes my blood thin and cold
my first nova scotia    is catching a cold from treading ocean water
to heal the hypothermia of a city life

dave and steve playing at larry's 60th

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