Thursday, November 19, 2009

Last Days - The Safety Of The North

Mathieu asked me for some help moving some old furniture one weekday evening at the old family cottage he bought midway through this year. We shared laughs and drove nearly to the end of the province before we took the exit for St. Zotique. Years before, this was a seasonal town where all the homes were limited to one floor and had canals for lane ways that served as a gateway to the fleuve. We stopped the car at the only cottage from that time - squeezed in between the neighbor's aspirations for a mega-lot.

The front door led us into darkness which revealed itself as a spare bedroom at our feet. The tight hallway shared a wall with his Uncle's room that still held a mirror on the wall with fishing photos tucked under it's frame. A catamaran mast connected the far corners of the living room and a white bench at the kitchen counter where the young cousins would sit to play cards and eat breakfast before rushing out the door to jump into the water. He rummaged for an old baseball board game and found it in its usual spot. The faded paper scorecard was still inside which showed that the initials M&M had won 14-10. He told me how the docks carried them like a giant sidewalk along the edge of the shallow bay to a small island which they'd visit by paddle boat. Now we stood overlooking the fleuve under a blanket of stars and to that island where a house now sits and we wondered how they got to work everyday.

The smell of those Last Days were soaked into the walls, shag carpets, and the wooden cupboards with all the glasses you'd expect to see. I caught a photo of him washed in the kitchen light coming out of the back screen door. We moved in a couch and a coffee table which are the first items to stay in that stubborn old house in preparation of the next generation's visit next summer.

1 comment:

  1. I really like what I just read above. I was mid-way through my first listen of Last Days - The Safety Of The North with the first of tears starting to well up my eyes...and decided to search for something said about it and came across this. Seems I'm not alone in the nostalgia felt through the dust and old photographs of friends and loved ones seen through clouds of memory, brought out by this extraordinary sound experience.