A Love Letter to Branch
A Love Letter to Branch
My Dearest Branch,
I write you this letter to you on the stormiest of evenings as a ferocious Nor’ Easter batters the East coast. The sea that defines your very existence is slate grey, marked only by fitful white caps driven by the wind. Banks of snow have covered your already frozen meadows and cliffs and the northerly winds have driven all manner of life inside to find warmth and love on this blustery day. Alas, the measure of this Tuesday in February is not determined by a howling wind but instead, by another four letter word that is equally as powerful as any Nor’ Easter…love! Yes, this is indeed the day when we celebrate the grand, transformative power of love. It is Valentine’s Day.
While I dedicate this day to my own dear beloved, Mr. Chris Mooney, I also want to take this opportunity to share, my darling Branch, my perpetual love for you as you are indeed one of the great loves of my life. Each morning when I get up, often before daylight even colours the sky, I am greeted by the remarkable vision of you. The gift of seeing you each and every morning feels miraculous, filling me with gratitude. I take a moment to soak in your arresting beauty, the people and homes you shelter in so many ways, scattered here and there, lining lanes and looking towards the bay. You have even somehow managed to neatly tuck yourself in between the sea and river, guarded by the all-encompassing cliffs. As I look over towards you from the red point, my heart feels plump and whole.
We met when I was just four days old, just over forty one years ago. Since then, you have taught me much. You taught me to feel proud of my rural roots, to walk into a room in any corner of the world proudly shouting, “I’m from Branch”. You taught me the value of relationships, giving me the warmth of a loving family and kind friends who continue to form the very core of my life, bringing love….and homemade bread! They, in turn, taught me to know joy and pride in being connected to you. You taught me the value of nature, as I roamed through your singing gullies and over your stalwart knobs, sitting long enough to write a poem or rescue a carpenter. You have even given me a wonderful husband and friend to share my life with here in your Easter’ Cove, and you should know that he is very fond of you, too.
You have never failed to enchant me, Branch.
I did leave you for some time, lured away to St. John’s for nine years, many of them lonesome. Those years were challenging. I remember sitting forlornly in my apartment on Neptune Road, Mercia and I thinking we could hear the gulls. We later realized we had heard the monotonous murmur of traffic. I vowed to return to you some day.
And so we did and there you were, as beautiful and welcoming as ever. Like the merciful father of the prodigal son, you rejoiced at our return, as you do whenever another person sets roots in your soil.
What do I get you, dear Branch, on this love day? I offer you this quote and a heartfelt thank you for the love you allow me to know every day:
“When I imagine myself as an old woman at the end of my life & ask myself how I will evaluate my time here, there is only one question: Did I love well?” -Oriah Mountain Dreamer-
With deep admiration,
And a Valentine's gift for you, dear readers:
News from Branch:
The power went this morning at about 5:30 for half an hour. Shannon was just after putting in wood.
The power went again at about 10 AM and came back at 1 PM.
The shop was open for an hour this morning so people could get gas for their generators.
The shop opened again at dinner time.
Kyran and Georgina were feeding sheep in Roche's Gulch
There was a crowd at ducks at daylight.
Melissa gave her house the biggest cleaning.
Sadie (and Melissa) never got to work with the roads.
There was a lull at lunch time and even a bit of thawing, and everyone started to shovel out.