Generations

70 years ago, a baby girl was born who eventually grew up to become my mom. For a long time, I (like the child of many mothers) didn’t think of her as having had a life before I came along. Indeed, I’ve been in her life – either centre stage, or on the why-does-he-never-call periphery…

Je Me Souviens

Despite now having an extremely busy jammed into the gap that separates my present self from my sabbatical self, France remains with me in powerful, often disconcerting ways. Some days, it washes over my mind in rich colours and textures, like a quilt that’s both exotic and familiar all at once. At other moments, it…

Transfortressing Attendance

Attendance at the Fortress of Louisbourg has been up nearly 50% this summer, with well over 100,000 visitors arriving by car, motorcycle, motor home, or cruise-ship-by-way-of-coach-bus. The spike in attendance is partly due to uncommonly good weather, but mostly we can thank the federal government for its Canada 150-themed waiving of admission. As we marvelled…

Transfortressing Nature

In June, it’s the swallows. They swoop down from roofs and rafters, trailing their forked tails as they search out the puddles surrounding the Dauphin Gate. On foggy Louisbourg mornings, they seem like stealth bombers, manifesting suddenly from nowhere as they zero in on their goal. They slurp up globs of mud in their stubby…

Transforming Wistfulness

I recently wrote about the regret I feel over France. The eight months we spent there felt wasted to me, because of the cultural whiplash I inflicted upon our daughter; because of the resulting need to homeschool her for half our time in Lille; and because that homeshooling robbed me of the chance to write…