Downhome Magazine

Bacon Cove

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Enclosed is a picture of myself at the time when our family went to Bacon Cove, Conception Bay, NL. It's one of my most earliest memories. We often went out on picnics and excursions as soon as the warm weather came. While taking an English course at Seneca College, Toronto, students were asked to wright a descriptive paragraph. I chose to write about that day at Bacon Cove because it was rich with sights, sounds and smells. Enjoy.

Down a steep and narrow, rocky lane is the place I remember fondly. The long boreen is a difficult one to maneuver and steer to the safest route down the steep hill. The sky ahead hints at what may be found at the bottom and Tufts of fir branches along each side of the car almost block the way completely. It is the oxygen that hits you first. With deep, salty breaths, your lungs crave even more. How the city smog kept you alive you do not know, but this sea air is something that is long forgotten until your body reminds you that it exists the way it should. A teal ocean is before you on this early summer's day with its perfect shimmer of light piercing the surface. The shore stretches out in both directions with a mix of geological attributes, flora, and fauna. What lies along the rocks far out towards the sea are treasures to be had. This natural world is as it aught to be, not with new roads and housing developments that now eat up every scrap of nature along other coves.

Fishing vessels and pleasure boats are dotted way off in the distance. Closer still is an iceberg, the size of a soccer field, silently making its way past. Along one side of it are hues of emerald-green hiding amongst the shadows. The wind blows up little splashes of sea foam against the base of the berg. By next month it will be gone. The loose pebbly gravel at the shore's edge is like quicksand. Do not stand still for too long or your feet will disappear, and a frigid rush of water will flow into the boots, piercing like a hundred pins. Jutting up from this moist, wet landscape are rock outputs from the cliffs above. It is only in the low tide that you appreciate their blessing.

Boots are required in this environment, with seaweed as far as the eye can see. Patches of jade green glows amongst the brown and gold. It is like walking through a swamp with the 'squish, squash' sound from rubbers being sucked back down with each step. Jet-black teardrops grip to the feet from the high escarpment. The ones that are close to 2 inches long are taken away: give the babies a chance to grow. They are surprisingly cold and slippery and cling on to the rock for dear life. Their anchor hangs from the top, like a bearded tether. Avoid the open ones: they are dead. You need the snapped-tight morsels for eating. The bubbling pots on the wood fire a-wait. That is another smell you have forgotten: the campfire of rich Birch and pine releasing their oils and burning away to low smoke. The perfect time for a boil-up.

The tide is coming back, enveloping the mini ecosystem that was furiously invaded. Now to navigate another kind of landscape; that of the rolling smooth boulders on the upper steep shore, away from the water's icy grip. Unfamiliar feet slip stumble over the bocce-like sound of the stones banging against each other. Beyond are the season's grasses amongst the sea thrift blooms are the rainbow-tiled, stitched squares of picnic blankets which outflank the natural flora of the hills. Seagulls rush and cry out disturbing the tranquil sounds of the Sea-breeze. They are so close; you can see their golden beady eyes and their pink feet. Picking from humans is easier than hunting in the wild. Black flies whiz and buzz around lazily working for the same thing.

On this day which you don't want to end, evening is releasing its pink and salmon clouds that are sparsely spread across the sky. The ocean's creatures are now immersed in the thick black of on-coming night while loons skim across the water taking in their last hunt of the day. The South-East moon pushes its way above the horizon, blazing a trail of white across the bay. The smouldering fire pit lingers with glowing hot ash being dusted up into the air by the gentle land breeze. A fox scurries along a grove of stunted coniferous trees that will never grow tall from the fierce, ocean winds. The pitch of night descends with only the beautiful light of the moon and stars shimmering down on that pretty shore of long ago.

Toronto, On
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