Aiming for Normal

The Cove Journal by JoDee Samuelson

Frozen Cove by JoDee Samuelson
Frozen Cove by JoDee Samuelson

Things are returning to normal in the Cove. There are plenty of fallen trees and roofs sporting blue tarps, but Hurricane Fiona is becoming a legend rather than a reality. 

Covid-wise, at our Women’s Institute meetings we chat and hug freely. It feels great. Last week one of our members brought 45 pairs of mittens for the school mitten drive. “I knit a pair a day,” she said with a smile. We do what we can to help one another.

Last weekend there was a community fundraiser to re-stock the food pantry. Music, muffins, coffee, warm greetings, and young children running back and forth in front of the stage: a winning combination.

We accept that there will be more storms, and that Covid-19 may be with us forever. Harder to accept is a power outage on the coldest day of the year. Fortunately that cold snap has ended, and many frozen-and-thawed pipes later, our plumbers are taking well-earned naps. 

With the Island’s hardships temporarily on hold, things remain desperate in Türkiye and Syria. [Türkiye is the new name of Turkey.] Nature is at war with this region and it’s winter. I was saying to my friend Karren (she tries to improve me), “We know nothing about Türkiye.” 

She said, “Don’t say WE know nothing; YOU know nothing.” True. So I’m learning what I can from words and maps. I read that Türkiye (formerly Anatolia / Asia Minor / Ottoman Empire) is the country where Europe ends and Asia begins… with the Black Sea to the north, Aegean Sea to the west, and Türkiye controlling the strait between the two… with historic cities like Istanbul (Byzantium/Constantinople of the Holy Roman Empire), Tarsus (Saul of Tarsus on his way to Damascus), Ephesus (Saul/Paul’s letters to the Ephesians—hey, I was a minister’s daughter!)… ancient sites like Troy (Helen of Troy), Mount Ararat (where Noah’s ark supposedly grounded)… fabulous mosques, ceramic tiles, Turkish delight… Why aren’t we all heading to Türkiye? 

Well, the earthquake for one thing. With thousands dead and millions homeless, it’s not a good time for a casual visit. 

Something else I’ve read. The earthquake was caused by the movement of Tectonic Plates, those huge chunks of the earth’s crust that bump into one another. Türkiye on the Anatolian tectonic plate, is surrounded by the African, Eurasian and Arabian plates, and on February 6 the Arabian Plate butted into it with an enormous THUD. Oh, how the people of that region would love to have life return to normal.

Our little island is more-or-less safely situated in the middle of the North American tectonic plate but, like aging pottery, our plate is full of chips and cracks. Many of us remember the 1982 quake centred in Miramichi (N.B.) that sent wine glasses a-tinkling. “What was that?!”

Today, down at the Cove everything feels pretty normal. The ice sheets shift, crack and groan like Tectonic Plates. Of course, what we see—make that “what I see”—on the frozen crust is not necessarily what is happening underwater. But no danger here, just beauty.