I can think of many people who live in lovely places, yet sometimes take them for granted. I don't think we realize that we are doing this until for some reason or another (school, job, etc.) we are taken away from our homeland for any length of time and then return to it. It seems that we come 'home' and look at things with new eyes. We notice things that we hadn't paid attention to before. Things that were right there all the time.
Coming from Chicago, I am perhaps more aware of this. My earliest recollections of my childhood were that of growing up in a large city. Everything was within a few short city blocks and we could walk or take our bikes to the pool or the store or the park district for our after school lessons. Friends were all close by as well, and anyone who lived more than four or five short city blocks away seemed to be in a different group of kids. Our own closer circle of friends usually lived on the same street. Anyone beyond that was an 'outsider'.
But as we grow and venture out into the world, we begin to realize that the further we move from the nucleus of our neighborhood, the more different things could be. I remember when I was a teen and took a vacation with my family on a Caribbean Cruise that I was in awe that such a place really existed in the world. As we drove up our street upon returning from the airport, it was hard to believe that just a few short hours before I was at a part of the world where the culture was so different from my own. Instead of the concrete streets and sidewalks of suburban Chicago, the neighborhood streets were sandy and there were palm trees all around and you could see and smell the beautiful blue ocean from just about anywhere.
I have always loved the ocean. From the first time I saw it, I knew that one day I wanted to live sea side. There is something about the serenity of the beach and the unrelenting sound of the waves rolling unrelentingly to the shore. To this day I can sit and get lost in the sounds and sites of the beach. It is one of my favorite places to be.
I live about 2 km from the shore of the Bay of Fundy. Actually, it is St. Mary's Bay that borders our shoreline. St. Mary's is located on the west side of Nova Scotia between the mainland and the small string of islands called Digby Neck. On most days, you can see the neck from our shoreline. However, if you go far enough down the coast, to Mavalette Beach where I usually visit, you can see out into the open sea.
The Neck is comprised of two islands and the long Apennines of land that juts out from the town of Digby, where I used to live. There are two small ferry boats which connect the mainland to first Long Island and then the tiny Brier Island at the end of the string. It is very beautiful and picturesque and a great place to take in nature and enjoy a quiet afternoon. There are many whale watching tours as well, and eleven years ago when I first came to Nova Scotia I took one. It was an experience that was amazing and I hope to go again before this summer is done.
On Saturday, I took the day to spend on the islands with my good friend Cindy. After being cooped up all winter and then waiting for my car this spring, we were long overdo for a 'girls' day out'. We choose the islands because we both love it there and there was a wool farm on Brier Island that we both wanted to visit. Cindy does rug hooking and me – I just love fiber and any creative material anyway, so it seemed like a good reason to go.
We had a beautiful day ahead. Although there was a slight chance of rain, the morning fog and clouds had cleared to offer brilliant sunshine. We boarded the ferry and put the top down on the car to fully enjoy the day:
We decided to drive to Brier Island and then take our time returning. It sounded like a good plan.
After the second ferry, we arrived on Brier Island. We drove to a beautiful lookout point where we could see the channel between Brier and Long Islands. Here is a photo of the car for those who wanted to see it done:
The lighthouse across the water was on Long Island. It was filled with seagulls and other birds:
Looking to the West, you can see just how close the two islands are. That's Brier on the left and Long Island on the right. Our ferry attendant said he spotted a whale as we were coming across (we were sitting in the car for the short trip and missed it!)
We stayed on that point for a while, and then we sought out the wool farm. Even though the farm said "Open Always", for some reason it was closed and there was no one around except some chickens walking around the grounds. We were a little disappointed, but how could we be with such beautiful scenery?
We decided to go for lunch on Long Island. There was a place called Levena's Catch Cafe that had great reviews, so we went there. Even though I am not a big fish eater, I decided to get their sample plate of fresh Digby scallops and fresh haddock. It came with a beautiful Caesar salad and we had split some wonderful bruschetta as an appetizer.
The food was scrumptious!
It made me want to eat fish more! :)
We then decided to visit The Balancing Rock on the North side of Long Island.
To reach it, you had to walk a 1.7 km trail and then descend a staircase to bring you to the ocean level. (250 or so stairs!) It was well worth the trip though and it gave us a great chance to walk off our lunch.
The rock is amazing:
I don't know how it stays in place. Here is a photo of my daughter Danielle and her friend Dana about 10 years ago when we visited. (NO – They did NOT push it over!)
After the hike, we took the second ferry back and were once again on the mainland. We decided to make one more stop at Gulliver's Cove beach so Cindy could pick up some rocks to paint. There are hundreds of beautiful coves like this in our area, and I love every one of them.
We spent about an hour exploring the rocky beach there. I found several little crab shells:
By then it was really cooling off and the sun was getting low. We decided to end our day of exploring.
On the way home, just before I arrived at my own place, it finally rained. It was one of those rains where the sky was still mostly blue with patches of dark clouds and I saw the most beautiful and intense rainbow! I wanted to stop the car and take a photo, but it really was raining hard. I think though that it was the perfect ending to a beautiful day.
On Sunday, I felt relaxed and ready to work again. It is amazing how taking time off can make one feel so refreshed. The previous week had been busy and hectic and I think I needed a day off more than I realized.
Here is a quick peek of what I am working on for my next project:
Obviously it is a painting pattern. I hope to make great headway on it today.
I am so happy that I took time to be with my friend and enjoy the beautiful place that I live. I know that these warm summer days are a gift, and things don't always work out so that we can enjoy them. But next winter when I am watching the snow fall, I will have some great memories to relive of how beautiful Nova Scotia is. I am very lucky to live in such a lovely place.
Today it is raining, but we are due for rain so that is a good thing. After my errands, I plan on continuing work on my painting pattern. I hope to have it done in the next couple of days and then go on to creating a new scroll saw pattern. The holidays are approaching quickly and I hope to get several new things ready for the upcoming seasons.
I hope you all had a great weekend and took time to enjoy the area in which you live. Even though we are busy, it is important to take time to enjoy our lives and families. For that is the reason we work so hard in the first place, isn't it?
Happy Monday to you all!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"