Friday, January 16, 2015


The ferry that usually services our island is in for a refit, for accommodation of more vehicles, lounge-to-ramp offloading, and other such amenities. Meanwhile, we have been gifted with the opportunity to use our usual replacement-vessel, the Bowen Queen.

I don't go into the city often, but yesterday I had an opportunity to take the kids for a town-adventure, and after we drove onto the ferry, my kids went running upstairs to remind themselves of the many delights they look forward to every time we get this ship: three passenger lounges, four outside decks for exploring in the wind and rain - and the view. The view is the reason I stayed on the car deck.

This boat has been our replacement vessel every year or two throughout most of my life. When I was a child, and our regular boat was smaller, I was always so disappointed that the sides of this replacement were taller at the front and back, and blocked the view. Now, by comparison to the behemoth ship we usually have, I'm just so thrilled to have the mostly lower sides of the Bowen Queen. I'm happy to actually feel the sway of the boat on the water, to see the salt spray over the sides, the engine-room doors left open by the crew and the feeling that, because the boat is smaller, the crew pay more attention to fitting cars snugly and carefully. I love this boat.

I turn off the radio, sick of hearing about what makes us different from Islamists; what makes the French different from Canadians; why our racism is better than their racism or why religion is the salvation or destruction of us all. From the vehicle deck I can look straight out across the sound, reach my arms into the wind, and step sideways with the pull of the rocking boat.

It's been foggy, lately. Gulls, seals, and small boats dip and disappear in the infinite grey between water and wind. This is a time when defining lines are blurry, and maybe there are no real boundaries at all.

On our late afternoon return, the fog has lifted to catch the setting sun in the distance; the wake of a burdenless tugboat separates fast, sending waves out in either direction to hook up and lap at the receding clouds. A guy in his rowboat, still a long way from his destination, seems to sit still on the moving drink that fills the pockets of our earth. We're all going home.

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