A Walk on the Edge – Eliza MacLauchlan

A Walk on the Edge
Eliza MacLauchlan

The edge always feels like a return. I think back to the times of visiting the edge in the summer. The fun I had, the people that joined in. I think back to the times I’ve visited when things weren’t so fun. The sadness I felt, with only myself and the water present. The edge is always there, no matter your mood.

I’ve chosen to go to Covehead Harbour. This beach holds a lot of memories for me, as it most likely does for many others. It has changed a lot over the years. But yet, even though the water and the infrastructure has changed, in many ways, this side of the bridge offers something that feels stable.

Undated photo, from Thymewood Gift Shop in Stanhope, PEI.

As I walk up, I hear the familiar sound of waves crashing. It’s a grey day at the end of January. As I turn the corner, I leave the protection of the sand dunes and the cold wind hits my face. I look out to the ocean and see a mix of blue and white. Snow covered sand, or sand covered snow, covers the ground, while rocks can be found all over. I walk up to the edge, stopping before I get to the water. I feel a ‘healthy’ fear of the edge. The fear that I shouldn’t get to close, lest the ocean have other plans for me today.

The water moves freely while the waves crash. There is some ice built up near where the sand meets the water, but otherwise, the ocean is at its full power.

Looking at the sand, you might think you’re on some distant planet. My boots sink somewhat as I walk, but for the most part, I am able to stand upright in the frozen sand. Every now and then I jump in the rocks made of snow and ice that have formed, delighting as I feel them break underneath.

This side of Covehead Harbour is deserted. Some cars and trucks go by on the road, but their noise is drowned out by the wind and the waves.

There is a calmness that you can feel, even as the wind hits your face and the sound of the waves hits your ears. This is part of the dichotomy of the edge; it feels calm, even as the waves crash. You can find peace in this space: an uninterrupted moment in the day. The edge, the place where land meets water, reminds us of the power of nature. It has the ability to calm you, even when the storm rages on.

The edge is important because there are so few spaces left like this. A place where someone can be completely at ease and take time to think. Where time passes without rushing. One of the last places that we can go and fool ourselves into believing that we haven’t wreaked havoc on the world. Go to the edge and you’ll find all this and more.

Eliza MacLauchlan is a Graduate Student in the Master of Arts in Island Studies program at the University of Prince Edward Island.

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