Some of you may already know that I grew up on Grindstone Island, right here in the Bay of Fundy, and this is a true story.
At the tender age of eight years old, I make a heartfelt decision to run away from home. This is in spite of the fact that I am experiencing a childhood under the watchful eyes of two loving parents who are providing 99.9% of all my wants and needs and I have my own small island on which I enjoy endless days of fun and play -- days composed of long summer afternoons spent swimming, rowing my boat until the tide goes out, rock climbing and exploring adventures with minimal amounts of chore time and physical work.
Off to the wharf we go with grand dreams of becoming wild and free, and anticipating years of nothing but adventures in our sights! Oh, what fun we will have! Upon our arrival at the wharf, the comforting and familiar sight and smell of the tide quickly assures me of the “rightness” of my decision to leave this way of life behind in a planned sea adventure.
My new freshly-painted red rowboat (recently built for me that summer by my dad) is finally packed and ready to go and so are we! With my two new shiny oars, I start rowing out of the harbour still dreaming of the frivolous fun times we will have once we gain our freedom. Rusty seems to be enjoying the voyage as well. He is lying calmly in the back seat of the boat and I am glad I had decided to bring my companion along for company.
Very shortly, we find ourselves at the end of the island heading out into the open sea and we are Nova Scotia-bound! But wait, what is happening here? My little red boat suddenly starts a vigorous swirl in a large circle while I am still rowing straight ahead. What is going on? It is as though the boat has a mind of its own as round and round we helplessly turn. Rusty, help me! Don’t just look at me with dog eyes---do something! Seconds turn into minutes and fear is taking over my situation. All of my hopes and dreams are circling in the open waters! Who will help me?
The fact that ebb tide brings about a change in direction at both ends of the island is the one important fact that I overlooked in my exciting escape plan. My father throws me a line. While I face his silent stares in the safety of the big boat, he tows my little empty boat back to shore. I am completely embarrassed and disappointed by my failed plan.
Now I cannot honestly say that the rest of my day was extremely pleasant as I listened to both parents lecture me. Suddenly, I realized that unforeseen obstacles can get in the way of a great plan. However, the help I received that day turned out to be more important than the whole plan itself!
About the Author: Betty Weston lives in New Horton, Albert County, and is the youngest daughter of the last lighthouse keeper on Grindstone Island. She enjoys dividing her time between gardening, hiking, motorcycling and spending her retirement years living near the Bay of Fundy.