Monday, December 13, 2010

Georgian Bay Christmas Road Trip

Well, I am getting ready for a Christmas Road Trip with my 16 year old son.  He plans on getting us out of the province at which point I will need to take over the wheel.
We are heading to Georgian Bay, the place of my birth and childhood. It is a place that holds fond memories for both myself, my husband and our children.  Members of my husband's family still live there so we are fortunate to have opportunities like this to head back to the bay.

This past summer I thought often about the area that I come from and parts of that landscape that have shaped who I am today.
So, I wrote this, and ode to Georgian Bay......

Georgian Bay

I sometimes find myself staring at you,
And then I see me,
reflected through your eyes.

You seem to be beckoning ,
welcoming me in with a soft gentle wave.

I allow myself to wade forward,
within you,
slowly at first, because you are cool.
I move deeper,
careful to avoid those bits of shell fragments that often get in my way.

Slowly I feel myself sinking.
You feel warm now
and all of a sudden as if on cue,
I drop,
I surrender,
and allow myself to fall into your arms,
eyes closed,
tasting in your freshness.

Yet the whole time my mind is wandering.

I see me,
Young, pig-tailed, freckled-skin, worried eyes,
swinging from side to side,
A small wooden plank attached to a willow by an old tattered rope

I see my sister too,
She is in front of me,
Her skillful arms slice through you with such grace, and precision

The teacher is smiling,
But not at me,
And then my sister is running,
Heading home
Eager to report
that I chose once again to sit
on the swing.

But you see,
I was afraid.

I studied you from that swing,
Determined to see through your moods,
Charcoal grey, midnight black.
You possess a full orchestra of percussion
All clues in the mystery of you.

Your sudden acts of aggression,
I learned all the signs.

That day at the door,
Where my parents stood,
Whispering, nodding, sniffling
My neighbour dead,
Fishing, storm, empty boat,
I heard that you were to blame.

I already knew,
that you can be angry,
fierce and cruel,
spew up foam and remnants as you welcome victims into your depths.

But I also believed,
That you are kind, forgiving
Even magical.
Like on the day of our annual family photo,
You had the presence to soften the glare of my grandmother’s eyes
And bring warmth to the lines of her manufactured smile
With your rich hues of blue.

I see me,
On that day when I stood in front of my swing,
Listening to you,
As I answered your call,
Walking slowly at first,
Toes touching, cold, then warm
gently assured by the sound of you lapping on the rocks beneath me
and I surrendered,
allowing myself to fall,
into your arms,
eyes wide open.

I am not a poet, that is clear, however I really enjoyed writing this piece.  It has been hanging around my office in an old notebook since a writer's workshop that I attended this summer with my partner. It felt like the right time to look it over and.... revise it yet again.
My partner, on the other hand, is a writer and a poetic one at that.
Anyway, this attempt at poetry represents the bay through my eyes.  Haunting, yet lovely.

I will certainly take photos of the bay in winter but I do admit I favour the look of it most in summer!

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  1. Donna,
    I really like this poem a lot. It expresses how Georgian Bay is forever in your heart--a part of you.

  2. Thanks Bardy.That is the result of a writer's retreat that we took part in last summer.
    You know, as I grow older I start to realize the impact that the bay had in my childhood. The fact that we took swimming lessons within view of the shipyards always impresses me. It took me going back last year to realize my connection to this large body of water! I really think it does become a part of us.


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