A Good Ocean for Mermaids

Over the summer we spent some time in British Columbia, visiting family, and showing the children what trees and mountains SHOULD look like. Not these dinky little things that are scattered throughout Nova Scotia. There are folk songs that talk about the mountains in this province, but I’ve yet to see anything that even remotely resembles a mountain.

DSC_0295 (4)Growing up along the coast of BC is a funny thing. It doesn’t matter if you have family living across the water, shelling out a bazillion dollars to take the ferry semi-regularly is just a part of life. So much so, in fact, that if you grew up in that locale, and you’ve been away for a while, nothing will make you feel more “at home” than sitting on the deck of a ferry, overpriced Starbucks coffee in your hand, and listening to the safety announcement.

And so it happened on a sunny August afternoon, journeying from Comox to Powell River, a coffee in one hand, a ginger molasses cookie in the other, and antsy, excited children running about. They figured that we MUST see every nook and cranny of this vessel in the first 15 minutes of our voyage. I was tired, and really just wanted to sit and enjoy the scenery and my cookie. They wanted to eat my cookie. I wasn’t sharing, and that was that!

“Get a job and buy your own cookie!”

A minute later I had surrendered half my cookie. Like so many things in the life of a parent, I don’t recall it happening. I just looked over a minute later, and there they are, happily munching on cookie. MY cookie. Oh well, if they had a mouthful of cookie, then perhaps I’d be allowed to sit  still for a few minutes. Probably not, but a fella can dream.

Once Saarah had finished, she was keen to continue driving me nuts seeing the sights. So, in order to get her to hold still, I encouraged her to look for wildlife in the ocean. I explained that sometimes there’s whales, and seals, and porpoises…

“Where do all the animals go when the ocean turns to ice?”

I explained that, unlike at home, this ocean doesn’t get covered in ice in the winter. She thought that this was pretty ridiculous. She wondered what sort of magic ocean this must be, in order to stay in a liquid state during the harsh winter conditions. I then explained that it stays much warmer during the “winter” months along the coast of BC.

DSC_0306 (3)She immediately informed her mother of this amazing news. Geez, all the things her father knows… he sure is a smart man.

Of course, once it was decided that animals of all varieties can live in this part of the ocean all year, it was determined that mermaids could survive in such a place.

I wanted to tell her that this was preposterous. The whole notion of mermaids is preposterous. Really, half woman, half fish? What on earth would a mermaid even eat? All that “The Little Mermaid” has taught me is that they don’t eat seafood. And that even if you could talk to a seagull, he’d be just as stupid as you’d think he’d be. How do these creatures survive?


She spent the next 20 minutes looking for mermaids, enjoying the magic that is childhood, and I sat and drank my coffee.

I’ll tell her later.

3 Responses to “A Good Ocean for Mermaids”
  1. N Avery says:

    who is talking about mountains in this province? lol…there are ‘highlands’ which have their own majestic qualities, but I have yet to see a mountain myself…and most of our trees have been cut down and we have to grow new ones (not as impressive as the towering oaks that have been preserved)..I have been to Vancouver Island, though at the time it reminded me a lot of “home” (Nova Scotia), I did find it most beautiful and most breathtaking..Your kids are seeing the best of both worlds, and building great imaginations beyond what they see, fabulous!

    • In the chorus of “Farewell to Nova Scotia” it mentions the supposed mountains.

      “Farewell to Nova Scotia, the sea-bound coast,
      may your (pause) mountains dark and dreary be.
      For when I am far away on the briny ocean tossed,
      Will you ever heave a sigh or a wish for me?”

      I didn’t mean to imply that the province isn’t beautiful, as it IS a very beautiful place.

      • N Avery says:

        I was just wondering where the ‘mountain’ comment came from, oh ya that song! lol They (the writers) must have never seen mountains…I agree with you… (I think) Nova Scotia has it’s own features but pales in comparison. I hope to go back to Vancouver Island some day, it was beautiful, and maybe I will see a mermaid :-). Your children and your musings are delightful 🙂

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