Island Eden

IMG_8198
I’m cataloguing sounds:

Whoop of a buoy somewhere out in the channel. Twittering of finches. Distant crunch of surf. Chug of the ferry, and its horn announcing arrival and departure. Keening of gulls. Buzz of a fly and drone of a bee. Hoarse honking barks of Canada geese passing between marsh and sea.

We’re sitting at the rear of a cottage on White Head Island, separated from the sea only by a bank of wild flowers (they seem to grow all at once out here; wild rhododendron flowering at the same time as fireweed, for example) and a scattering of the white rocks that give the island its name.

IMG_8238

It takes a ninety minute ferry from Blacks Harbour, New Brunswick, to Grand Manan Island, passing the other principal Fundy Isles of Campobello Island and Deer Island, as well as the three islands that make up The Wolves (so called not because they’re inhabited by wolves, but after a Glooscap legend), and then another ferry ride, this one a half hour, to get to White Head.

It’s an Eden, this little island, with a year round population of less than 200 that swells increasingly and ominously in the summer, ominously because of the fear that it heralds a changing character from working community – a ‘real’ community – to summer retreat, out of economic inevitability and necessity, maybe, but sad, nevertheless.

I tried to tackle the subject in Defiant Island, borrowing from White Head’s geography, and some of its work and social characteristics, although the novel is definitely not ‘about’ White Head Island.

Defiant Island cover

Here’s my favourite Defiant Island blurb:

A gentle, moving portrayal of the deliberate, perhaps necessary, political destruction of a community . . . A story about independence, and preserving independence against various forces – the vicissitudes of love, and of economics, and of old age . . . A story about love . . .

That’d be not just romantic love, and love between old friends, but also love of an island.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s