Periwinkle trails

The Cove Journal | by JoDee Samuelson

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August has arrived. It seems very sudden. We humans have been rushing about trying to ignore time as we embrace every hint of sunshine that comes our way. Staying up too late, eating too much ice cream, barbequing too many sausages…fiddle festivals, carnival rides, midnight swims…bring it all on!

Meanwhile down at the shore, oblivious to the hustle and bustle of humanity, sea life slowly and steadily marches on. And nothing is slower and steadier than a periwinkle inching its way across the sand. Sometimes periwinkles follow one another and sometimes they don’t. Mostly they head towards the water, but sometimes – who knows why? – they suddenly turn and boldly decide to explore uncharted territory. (“Suddenly” and “boldly” are adverbs that might not be in a periwinkle’s vocabulary; but again, who knows?)

It’s good to slow down and watch periwinkles move. You really have to stop. Fortunately we have summer visitors who can’t get enough of our sand and sea, who encourage us to slow down and start doing things we don’t normally do, like go camping at West Point’s Cedar Dunes Campground. The campground is perfect. Charming fearless children bike freely around the looped roadway, while sun-baked parents keep a lazy eye on them over a cold beverage.

This is a region where, six thousand years ago, our Island was still connected to the mainland. As glaciers melted and waters rose, one final grain of sand shifted and water started to seep over the sand bar. Presto! An island—our Island—was created.

West Point has pebble beaches strewn with smooth-washed granite and quartz rocks; a pub that serves ice cold Moth Lane beer; a gift shop selling handmade wooden spoons; and the black-and-white striped West Point Lighthouse and Inn that offers guests a chance to sleep in a genuine working lighthouse.

Our brief trip to West Point leaves no time to tour the western shore with its stunning vistas, or nip into O’Leary and its Potato Museum, delight in seaweed pie at Skinner’s Pond, buy a lined plaid work shirt at the Tignish Co-op, or survey the seals on the North Cape reef. Next time.

Farewell dear friends-from-away! … Hello new summer visitors!

We spend a few days lolling about and swimming in the Cove (jellyfish season, beware) before heading into Charlottetown to show off our finely dressed capital city with its neatly tended flowerbeds, freshly painted houses, and its friendly chatty populace. We catch the Young Company’s thought-provoking show outside Memorial Hall. It leaves us shaking our heads and asking, “Why didn’t we learn this in school?” Song and dance is definitely the way to teach history.

Town is good but the sea beckons, and soon we are back at the Cove joyfully plunging into the sparkling waves.

In the meantime, under the capes, periwinkles crawl across the sand at their usual unhurried pace. Maybe they’ll get to the water, maybe the water will get to them first. Either way they seem satisfied.

Jodee SamuelsonThe Cove Journal
JoDee Samuelson

Born and raised in the Canadian prairies, JoDee now lives in “the Cove” on the Island’s beautiful South Shore. She was a maker of animated films for most of her working life, and presently putters at less demanding artistic ventures like carving owls, painting Island scenes on small woodblocks, and playing ukelele.