This post was written in response to daily prompts provided by Jibber Jabber with Sue for Day 15 (explore), Day 11 (smooth) and Day 6 (story)
We used to spend our summer vacation on the southern coast of the Saint Lawrence Gulf. I know that might sound tropical and exotic, but it isn’t. It’s just as beautiful, though, in its own way. Much of the area is largely rural terrain, dotted with small, rustic villages. At the heart of each village, there is almost always a church that dwarfs all the other buildings with a bell tower that reaches skyward and can be seen from miles away.
We would stay at a house owned by our friend, Pierre, that was nestled curbside in one of those small villages. The house was spacious and comfortable but definitely in the “fixer upper” category. Luckily, Pierre was handy and tackled renovations one at a time, working towards the day he would retire and move there.
Not far from the house is a nature park and reserve. Hiking trails wind through the wild and rugged landscape, skirt salt marshes and cut through mountains that rise from the base of the gulf. We spent days exploring the park and one day we stumbled on a beautiful little cove. We hauled our camping chairs to the rocky shore and sat with the cold waves at our feet and the hot sun our faces. Before long, the sound of the waves lapping the shore made us feel blissfully drowsy and lazy.
After a while, we spread our beach towels on the shore and, like children, began sifting through rocks. They were just rocks, but for some reason that day we were focused on their different shapes and sizes. Some were smooth and we could feel the heat of the sun pulsing from their core. Others were rough or jagged or just your every-day, garden-variety rock. Their colours too came in different, nuanced shades of earth tones like slate gray and buffed sand. Some looked like crystalized coral and others were speckled and reminded me of the coat of a Dalmatian dog or Apaloosa horse.
We worked in a silence broken only by the sound of rocks clinking against each other when we dropped those we rejected back to the ground. But occasionally, we found one that made us feel like we had found a precious jewel. That rock would be gently placed on our beach towel and added to the collection to take home with us. It sounds silly, but who is to judge what someone else finds beautiful?
The afternoon slipped away and before we knew it, the sun began to sink lower into the sky and we felt the chill of fall in the air. We packed up our things and headed back to the house but our day wasn’t over yet. August sunsets in the region are spectacular so later we bundled up and found a perfect spot to watch. We weren’t disappointed as Mother Nature made us feel like spectators at a show put on just for us. But that is a story for another day.