Water has guided us
Water has guided us throughout 2021, as if we were called to be on its shore. It was there to take us into the flow, to support us, certainly to purify the emotions that the global changes bring to the world. Being aligned within us becomes a delicate balance. Yet the water was present. Sometimes it mirrored our inner states, pushing us to transformation. Sometimes it was a reflection of fear, as if the collective unconscious was taking shape, as if it was becoming visible, tangible. Sometimes the water purified our hearts, our beings, to once again make us live in the present moment, taking us in joy and wonder to continue this life of exploration. The water was that feeling of gratitude when we met the sea mammals and the whales. It was the feeling of freedom that guided us from Lac Saint-Jean, to the Saguenay, to the St. Lawrence River, to the Matapedia, to the Golf, to the Bay des Chaleurs, to the Bay of Fundy, to finally reach the Atlantic Ocean.
Here we are in Nova Scotia. The playgrounds have suddenly disappeared, as have the children. We are intrigued, we meet the retired population who come to live in this province, as a refuge in a place where one can breathe, by the grandeur of the land and the space, by the vivifying nature, by the much slower and relaxed pace. Everything unfolds at a different pace, in a desire to return to the tempo of the earth. Magical, powerful and not always easy. Here, the groundwater is contaminated with heavy metals, which at times makes the water unfit for consumption. The water keeps coming back like a mantra, like the ebb and flow in the Bay of Fundy. They are the highest tides in the world average almost 17 m, and the record during a storm in October 1869 was 21.6 m. For the indigenous Micmac people, a beaver carved out the arms of the Bay of Fundy while a giant whale create the huge tides. We camp on the shoreline. We witness the tidal bore but also the speed with which the water recedes. A striking spectacle combined with the sunset reflected in these moving waters. We are amazed, always moved by the striking nature that surrounds us.
The landscapes of Nova Scotia are made up of intertwined hills and valleys that rivers have formed. At times, the steep climbs impose a steady pace. We are exhausted when we finally meet Julie and her daughter Sky Luna. It is a necessary break for our muscles that are screaming with fatigue, a sparkling and cheerful meeting, the discovery of Kejimkujik National Park and its hundred-year-old trees. The Eastern Hemlocks create a damp and cold undergrowth covered with moss, lichens, ferns, mushrooms, and sometimes orchids. We also have the privilege of attending a performance, overlooking the indigo, mirror-smooth waters. An improvised guitar and saxophone duet by our friends from the Yukon. It was a moment of pure inspiration and above all a great breath for our hearts. The girls dance all evening, the music flowing through their bodies, feeding their souls. This impulse of life, this breath of joy, we give it back to the artists to thank them. Yes, we need them to continue spreading the joy in the world.
We ride along the Annapolis Valley, between gravel bike paths in the heart of the forest, at times infested with mosquitoes, or along small roads. We are moved by the sight of large trees, spreading out, especially gigantic oaks. They have been absent, now we discover them with wonder. A sacred tree in so many traditions, it is a cosmic link, a symbol of majesty and strength. For the Celts, it was a temple for the nymphs, also linked to the water element.
But the weather is changing. It is the hurricane season, we get the end of the tail of a large tropical storm. This is the third time in three weeks. It feels like a monsoon in the tropics. There is no respite. The water is pouring down on the land. The first time, we were welcomed in a Buddhist temple, connecting us to the way of Eastern traditions, compassion and inner peace. We feel at once in the Presence, at once in a space where time no longer exists, where sensations, smells, tastes related to Buddhism in these various traditions and geography come back to us like so many known flavors, like so many moments of teachings and feeling of unity. The second time, we were welcomed by the generosity of the Acadians, an incredible people. We were seduced by their philanthropy and kindness. Gilles offered us a meal in one of the best restaurants in the province: La Cuisine Robicheau. We had the honour of tasting Acadian gastronomy with its lobsters, seafood, halibut fillets, Digby scallops, smoked salmon with maple syrup. We were also treated to traditional dishes such as potato-based “rapure”. We wanted to try it, but, of course, this thick paste did not have the elegance of the other dishes. It was a survival cuisine. From a festive meal, Nadine, the owner, invites us for a few days. We were welcomed with as much generosity as the delicacy of the dishes we tasted. And so we escaped the second weather depression. The third time we were in a tent. This time there was no escape. We set up the two tents so that we could cook in one of them. We have to dig gullies, modify the paths of the small streams that are starting to form on all sides. Nayla and Fibie start to dig, they end up soaked and covered in mud, while the tent floats on the water that rushes underneath. You need patience to spend two days in a tent…
This time, we did it. We have reached the Atlantic, after having crossed all of Canada from the North West to the South East. The Pacific, the last ocean we bathed in, is more than 6,000 km away, as the crow flies. The distance between these oceans represents our life during these last two years, this connection to the Earth, to the Great North, to the power of the Canadian wilderness. So many impressions, so many emotions… It is an incredible feeling to contemplate this vast blue expanse. We stayed on its shore for three days, lulled by the song of its waves and rollers. A pause in front of the magic of this place marked by the force of Life that led us here and the hopes and visions that we send to the universe. Seals, black bears, white-tailed deer, come to meet us, reminding us that this land is populated by an exceptional fauna.
We continue our journey under a blue sky of a lasting fall. The maples are radiant with their bright red leaves while the birches are slowly turning yellow. Each time, we return to the Atlantic. We swim in it every chance we get, as well as in the lakes and rivers. Nayla jumps in first and dives under the rollers. Fibie is also euphoric even if the water, getting colder and colder, puts her off at times. We enjoy all these sunny days, because we know that winter is coming…