Walking Toward the Light…

Nearly two years ago the world changed… and I did what had to be done, or so I thought… I went along with it: Wearing masks, isolating, physically and socially distancing, sanitizing, getting vaccinated to keep my friends and family safe and most of all I did my best to stay positive. Somehow I thought that if I continue to think positive thoughts and engage in motivating others I could get through it. Well, I have to admit that “it” all suddenly got to me. The day coincided with my milestone birthday, a day that ended up being just like any other day… without personal contact, a way to celebrate and share some cake with others. Before I decided to crawl back into bed and wallow in my depressive emotions I checked the tide table and decided to walk instead. Walking has always been my remedy in combating emotional turmoil. I laced up my boots, threw on my jacket and set out without a particular goal in mind. I just knew I had to get to a beach, the place where the light makes the water glisten to add magic to the landscape.

The closest beach is a twenty-minute walk to the pier across from the Parrsboro Lighthouse. The early morning snow had cloaked the world in a white blanket and I encountered no other people.

Once my boots hit the pebble beach I was drawn to the water’s edge where a few deep breaths released much of the negativity I was experiencing. And when I nearly stumbled over my first piece of beach glass I knew it would be a good day in the end. I navigated First Beach and Second Beach and soon realized that the weather was favourable and the tide on its way out. I kept walking.

I love walking in solitude. No need to make conversation or set my pace to anyone else’s needs. I can just move freely, stop when something captures my interest while listening to my own body and gauge how far to meander before it would be wise to turn around.

I suddenly realized what an amazing experience it was to be walking on a beach in late December, not battling a fierce wind, rain or snow… I was making my way across the ocean floor! This is hard to imagine when you have not explored the beaches here but all I had to do was look for the high tide line as it stands out clearly with seaweed and various ocean debris.

By the time I reached this point on the beach, I had been walking for more than two hours. Anticipation was growing, after all, this is one of my all-time favourite destinations on the Fundy Shore. It is also a very powerful place and I asked myself why I don’t come to Clarke Head more often.

Anyone who has been following this blog since its inception seven months ago will recall my first solitary walk to the arch. It was then that I decided to share images and insights from my beach explorations in the Bay of Fundy. Here is a link to the first post.

In August I visited Clarke Head for the second time, this time with a friend, and we busied ourselves photographing rocks and details during the Golden Hour. Clarke Head shares its power with me only when I walk there alone and see the arch reveal itself in its entirety as I slowly approach and it emerges from behind the rocky cliff. Once again I was awestruck by how majestic the arch really is. The base was not littered with rocks like it was in the spring and as I walked through the opening I imagined leaving behind all that ails me. Slowly I emerged on the other side, feeling lighter, with my mind less cluttered. Ahhhh, a deep exhale followed by breathing in the fresh sea air – what could be better, more healing? I can’t think of anything.

I allowed myself half an hour of lingering, enough time to explore the seaweed-covered rocks, observe rivulets of water draining toward the ocean. And then it was time to turn around and head back toward home.

The tide was at its lowest point by now with ripples glistening in the sand near the summer campground. And the light was changing once again announcing that the end of the winter day was fast approaching. I kept walking toward the pier and lighthouse. Not only did the light change but the weather was much different as I reached Second Beach.

I checked my watch as I turned and headed home along Willow Street. I realized that I had spent five hours walking and experiencing the most wonderful sights.

May this long recap of my solitary outing provide you with light for a brand-new year. I wish happiness, health, love and joy for all of you. Let’s make room for a bright and beautiful year. Best wishes, Anna

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