Barb | Day 035

“I’ve been thinking: What’s the difference between the coast and the prairie? Everyone’s always on about The Coast, The Coast, The Coast, but why? There is mystery in the prairie just as there is here. But the difference, I’ve come to think, is that the mystery here is moving - it shifts and secrets itself. I feel that the mystery of the coast is revealing itself to me a little more with each passing day, with each visit, but I still don’t know what’s underneath the surface. That's what's interesting between this and the prairie: You don’t know what’s underneath. Oh yes, it’s beautiful, the landscape is beautiful, the mountains are there, but there’s a whole other body of mystery and knowledge below the surface. That’s what I think is compelling. What’s under there? I see the changing colours. I walk along the edge here, I see what’s there along the shore, the driftwood, and I see all the life, but I don’t know what’s underneath. So I think it’s that mystery, of the unknown. A mystery that’s changing and can be violent. And that violence is greater than the whims of the prairie to me. So it’s almost frightening sometimes. It can be calm and beautiful at turns, but also threatening. It has that edge to it. It’s that unknown and uncertainty that makes it exciting. I feel it’s being slowly revealed to me, though, because I’m growing more familiar with it, and its whims and the weather and the climate and how people use it.

But what if I lived here? Maybe I wouldn’t be running out here every day to look at it, and pull my camera out. I’m not sure. But I think that because of the amount of change that there is with each passing hour, I think that that mystery holds you. Whereas the prairie’s mystery is a little more static, a little more predictable. It took me a long time to “get” the prairie, but now I feel that I do.

And it’s a comfort getting to know this place as well, better with each visit. I guess my heart is more connected, because I know it now. So that layer of newness is gone now, which is a comfort. It’s a little like a human relationship: First the excitement of the newness - which is how it was for me - but that’s now starting to turn into something else. The sea has become like a once-new neighbour that I’ve grown to know well. The relationship is changing, towards one of familiarity. But still the mystery remains that I referred to earlier, and that again is like a human relationship: If there’s a mystery that remains then that keeps it exciting also, a little unpredictable. And that’s a good thing.”

advocate / explorer / storyteller