Newfoundland: Fish

by julietseven

21 July. Not long out of the water.  That’s what Rose said about the fish.  Moist and fresh.  Went all the way out to Ferryland.  Murmurs, tiny gasps, wonderments re: landscape.  St. John’s Wort, Woolly Thyme, Wild Iris, Buttercups, Lupin.  Rose did not know the name of the burnt-looking grasses.  Picked up flagstone-appropriate rocks from the beach for the Garden.  And crab shells, to be crushed and mixed in with the soil.  Will kill the slugs. After fish/chips, after Jacky inquiring as to whether the custard cones were really custard cones or merely soft serve.  Rose in front of the cafe, sitting on a stone, staring at the water. Huge dark sunglasses.  She is sweaterless and cold.  I join her.  She points.  A spouting, a fountaining in the distance.  Then another.  There are two of them.  Humped backs occasionally breaking surface.  They spout almost, but not quite, in tandem.  Maybe the one regards, appreciates the other’s moment? Two of them, swimming side by each.  A new color of blue.  What did you catch, you, angling?

17 July. Gorgeous day for a bike ride.  Out to bluffs.  No whales, no crows.  Scattered gulls. Me sitting, watching, on my little chair at the edge of it all.  Not an actual chair – a rock.  An erotic, left by a glacier.  Erratically. To Branch, tomorrow.  Rose and Jacky have the menu planned, down to the soy burger for Lori. I am in charge of bringing wine.  Driving over to Placentia, where Rose will pick up keys from her brother, then down the coast.  Stop and see Aggie in Patrick’s Cove.  Rose will call Carm, too, and suggest to her that she head Cape Shore way.  Another bonfire on the beach.  Rose was hooting about witches. I am islander enough, it seems, right now.  We are allowed to pack only clean skivvies, as the four of us will be jammed in a small car, and Jacky wants to bring a whole mountain of flagstones back from the beach.  Gone for several days. You know my whereabouts thereafter.

13 July. Rose called yesterday morning to go chanterelle picking with herself and Lisa, who is moving to Australia any day now to live with her internet boyfriend, whom, thankfully, she has met.  Lisa has a fantastic chanterelle spot, which she guards fiercely.  Sacred knowledge.  Yesterday was a moment of passing down the spot’s co-ordinates to Rose, who had to swear she wouldn’t tell.  This wooded place (past Torbay, past Middle Cove, more than that I’m not allowed to say) is also spilling with wild strawberries and blueberries, which are already blossoming.  Lisa has an encyclopedic knowledge of mushrooms, healing herbs and plants, attention deficit disorder, Australia and many other things.  She prefers winter chanterelles (which love “the lightest kiss of frost” before popping up) to regulars, but her favorite of all are what the Americans call hedgehogs. They taste like apricots, she said.  She wore jeans with rainbow pockets, a halter top, baseball cap. The chanterelles weren’t yet up.  Empty buckets.