Thursday, December 2, 2010

"it's coming on Christmas, they're cutting down trees"

Flossie and I decorated the marina store for Christmas. A mixture of old decorations (like this bell with lights) and new ones that I got at Home Hardware. I realized as I was getting them that I've never actually bought Christmas decorations before. My family has only ever used ones we've had - it feels like - forever.

This is the front of the store. At 4:30 PM. Our artificial tree - which, in the dark, looks just as good as a real one. I kind of get why people use artificial trees, now.

Last weekend I had to go to Iona for a meeting. (I'm a member of the Board of Directors for the Bras D'Or Lakes Stewardship Society.) Of course I took my camera along. Above: the Little Narrows ferry.

After the meeting, which was in a boardroom at the Highland Village, I jumped a fence and went walking around the musuem. It's a recreated village from the 1800's, built on a hill overlooking one of the Bras d'Or Lakes. The sun was just setting.

The church, by the way, used to be in a community across the lake called Malagawatch. I remember being in Australia a hundred years ago - OK, maybe it was just seven - and reading an international news item about a church being brought on a float along a lake, and it turned out to be home in Cape Breton. And now it sits on top of the hill looking out.

Driving back I went over Washabuck mountain. The road is falling apart, it's more patches than original pavement. It was getting dark and I felt lonely. I saw driveways to summer homes that are empty at this time of year. I saw houses with people in them but wondered - are they all old people? Where are the young people? It feels, sometimes, like everyone here is just one decision away from pulling up roots and heading out West. Then the whole island would be a relic, a historical museum.

Then, last week I started taking a walk on my lunch break. Around Water Street and then up by the Co-Op. I take my camera with me then, too. Partly so I can keep track of the time, and partly to take random pictures. Above: the lighthouse and Beinn Bhreagh mountain behind it. (That's where Alexander Graham Bell used to live.)

This is taken from pretty much the same place, just looking more to the left. This is the wee village of Baddeck. At least, the waterfront portion of it.

Wood and lines. A piece of driftwood up against a building. Telephone wire and a pole, and trees. And a close-up of another telephone pole. I like the texture of the wood, the staples, the rusty nail. The colors - bleached white, browns, dark brown. The knot. Even in a town that goes to some lengths to appear smooth and quaint and perfect, there is texture, age, lines. Rot and change and industry. And that's OK too.

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