God, Love and Capelin


It's day 183.  The early, welcoming days of July have arrived full of the promise of a warm, sunny, short sleeves at 8 PM kind of Summer. Three days in, the fog is thick and wet and determinedly embracing the place. The gannets have convened a meeting in the cove, diving into the kinetic sea like missiles in search of their annual feast. As I write this they are swirling through the evening air like an unruly February squall. The horn is belting out its forlorn but homely tune. But all of the action is happening on the back of the beach where the silvery little fish are heaving themselves in on the waves.  

The capelin are in.  And so it happened on Sunday morning at 8:15 AM.   We woke only to find the back of the beach decorated with people and vehicles.   An online message from Kyran confirmed our impending joy. 

We quickly dressed for the occasion, layering in wooly sweaters and rubbers.  Armed with dipnets and beef buckets, we made our way down the Easter Cove Hill, the truck swerving as if two bank robbers were driving a getaway car. As an interesting side note, you may be surprised to know that neither of us eats capelin.  For me, the visible nature of their backbone when eating them makes them seem too vulnerable!  While we don't eat them, we live to share them with family and friends.

We arrived on the beach moments later and there they were, filling each wave that rolled in with a sparkly glint, as if to boldly defy the fog.  As each shining fish landed on the beach, its smallness struck me.  This tiny creature, coveted by people, whales, cod, gannets and gulls alike; is pivotal in the marine ecosystem that supports our rural communities.  I'm reminded of the John Mayer line that says "I'm bigger than my body gives me credit for."

Sunday morning, that foggy capelin morning, brought me back to another morning six years ago when Chris and I found ourselves on the beach just before daylight, awaiting our annual visitors.  We were joined that morning by a 91 year old gentleman from North Harbour who deftly darted into the waves with his net, as fearless and enthusiastic as a young gull.  A few others joined us as the Summer sun rose and the waves grew heavy with capelin.  My prayers that morning were imbued with joy and wonder.

I clearly remember going to work in Placentia that day with an unmistakable bounce in my step. That morning at breaktime, my friends asked why I was so happy. I responded, "I'm high on God, love and capelin."  

And so I was.  I had spent the very first hours of that day in my favourite place in the world with people I love, filled with faith in God's great plans.  

So as the capelin willingly engage in the cycle of life, fulfilling their unique purpose as they dance onto beaches, take some time to enjoy the gifts that they offer you.  


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