It was late June, 2014. “A scorcher”, in Nova Scotia parlance, with temperatures soaring to 30-something celsius, 90 fahrenheit.
But the spring had been a cool one: this was the first hot week of the year. The Atlantic Ocean had some catching up to do, as one of our party discovered when he decided to walk into this ocean, for the first time in his life.
I lived for two years in Nova Scotia in its capital city, Halifax, while at graduate school. When time and resources permitted, we’d get to “the shore” — the south shore, Peggy’s Cove, even the outer reaches of the Halifax peninsula that abut the Atlantic. The European history of Canada begins with the Atlantic, with those who traversed the waters to reach what we now know as Newfoundland. There’s a rootedness, a sense of history in this part of Canada matched only by the old towns of Montreal and Quebec along the St. Lawrence River.
Canada is a country surrounded by oceans; “from sea to sea to sea,” as it’s sometimes said, with Atlantic in east, Arctic in north, and Pacific in west. I grew up inland, knowing instead streams and rivers and lakes. I’m glad I got some “ocean time” in my life.
If nothing else, it taught me it was a bad idea to run into the waters at Crescent Beach, Nova Scotia, during the first warm week of the year.
Photo: Kelley Teahen