Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Deer Island, New Brunswick to Sussex, New Brunswick

Stepping from my tent, the morning light greets me, light pinks and blues reflected in the calm waters of the Bay of Fundy.

Driving back to catch the ferry to the mainland, I note the boats that are drydocked at low tide, my first taste of the low tidal extremes in this area.

The coastal route winds and dips, providing sweeping views of the Bay. It also showcases vast areas of farmland, along with my photographer's dream - abandoned farm houses and barns!

When I see a sign warning of moose, a tinge of homesickness tugs at my heart...

Today, I am following the Fundy Trail signposts, a blue sign with a white lighthouse. Seeing these signs every few miles reminds me of the markers along the Camino when I walked across Spain, ever guided forward with their reassuring presence.

The Fundy Trail is a joy to drive and hike, with incredible views of the Bay on this clear, warm day. The trail is currently only 15 kilometers in length, but is being extended with plans to, as locals share with me, rival Cape Breton's trails!

Doll house-like homes scatter the area, with spindling decks, curved roofs and windows aplenty. Some are in pristine condition and others more run down, but all are wonderful to see, as the architecture is so different from what we have in Alaska, with our timber frames and cabins.

Some homes are so run down I assume they are vacant, and when I stand on the overgrown lawn and take photos, only to have someone emerge from the doorway to greet me, I'm taken aback, but grateful they are flattered to have their home photographed!  Of course, saying I am from Alaska always garners a welcome attitude...

I stop at a church-turned gallery and the woman working the desk and I chat briefly while I wander about, looking at antique trunks I can't take home. I buy a couple of postcards and this woman, Bev, who is in her 50's and was born and raised in the area, suggests that I take a few minutes to take a detour down a road to a beach that is known mostly only by locals. Delighted by the opportunity, I thank her and seek out the road.

When I drive the short distance off the paved road, down the red, dirt road, I gape at the red rocks, caves and beach that awaits. I dip my feet into a clear stream and am shocked by its warmth. Always eager to be on the move and having a difficult time being still for long, I am surprised by my desire and moreso my ability to sit and rest and doze on the rocks for hours.

As I sit, I am aware of a growing feeling that I am being watched. There are woods behind me and I assume that there are people camping or locals keeping an eye on me. As I doze on and off in the heat of the day with the cool breeze sweeping over me, I jerk awake expecting to see people around me, only to find that I am still alone.  I guess I was dreaming that I was surrounded by a group of people, but it felt very real.

The longer I stayed in this place, the more I realized that there is an incredible energy of spirituality and renewal. Even now, writing this, I hesitate to try to put the feeling into words, so I won't even try. Let me jus share that my experience here was so powerful that I drove back to the gallery and when I walked in, Bev asked if I enjoyed myself. I am still pondering the conversation that followed, where she told me that she sees energy and knew that this was a place that I needed to return to, not go to, but return to. She continued to tell me that my ancestors came from this area, ancestors not from this lifetime, but from a past life. I will just leave it at that, as I am still processing all of her words, but it had a huge impact on me and so I wanted to honor it by including it here.

Driving back down the road into the evening light, I am filled with the sensation that I am not alone - not in this car, not on this particular trip, not on any of the journeys I have been on or that I will make. I had not been feeling alone or lonely, but still, I am comforted...

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