Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Foxy Thoughts

Some say you can’t go home again—that any attempt to recreate a beloved moment in the past is doomed to fail. I agree and at the same time, disagree. Last summer I took a group of students on a travel course to the Maritime Provinces of Canada, an extraordinary two weeks. My only regret was that I hadn’t somehow made the trip with my husband, as one or two particular spots seemed to have his name inscribed on them.

This summer, we took that chance and repeated a section of the journey—traveling The Cabot Trail on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. In my husband’s words the night we arrived, “…there’s something about Cape Breton. It makes you relax whether you want to or not.” I was relieved then, and even more so as the days passed and he kept remarking on the natural beauty of the island, the politeness and friendliness of the people. Oh, and we had to eat fresh-off-the-boat-seafood every night. We both loved every minute—I had guessed right.

The key to returning is not to attempt a re-creation, but rather to design a brand new experience. Yes, you might revisit some much-admired locales but add others as well. While we retraced my previous summer’s steps along the Skyline and Middle Head Trails, we added a round of golf. (Great scenery, lousy golf scores, but who cared?) We experienced the same mild, sunny weather, but also added a new destination to the trip, so that I too would have fresh sights and novel experiences. The fortress at Louisbourg allowed us to visit, at least in the imagination, an eighteenth century French military community, and even eat lunch from a menu that might have existed in that time. (We had oversized napkins tied about our necks and were only given a spoon—forks were for the fancy folk back then.) And while we saw moose on the Skyline Trail as I had the summer before (the same large rack of antlers—the same moose?) we did not go searching for whales. Instead , we discovered a fox, waiting for us at the Louisbourg Lighthouse (or she discovered us). Now my husband wants to return yet again—there’s much of Nova Scotia that we haven’t yet seen…

No comments:

Post a Comment