Harricott, I Miss You
There are certain words in the English language that are efficient, economical even, as they move through a sentence or slip from the tongue. Words like perpendicular and tuba and cricket –they exist only for themselves. They wear sensible shoes and never paint their toe nails. No fooling around, no grandeur. Then there are words that are simply seductive in their advance through language, stealthily moving into a conversation with purpose and style. Ambrosia, elixir, lithe, meridian… These words are charmers, propped in glittery stilettos. They dazzle and delight, oblivious to meaning and structure. And there’s this sensible word- detour. Simple little noun- two boxy syllables packaged together neatly. For drivers, this tiny word can evoke slight feelings of anxiety and confusion. Where is this new road taking me? Will I arrive at my destination on time? Will Costco still be open? For others, like road less travelled, Robert Frost admiring people, detour is an exciting word, conjuring up images of adventure and the glamorous unknown. In which category did you fall this Summer as you made a sharp right after the bridge in Colinet? Did you feel tormented as you meandered along the spruce-clad Harricott road into Mount Carmel to avoid the rocky road to St. Catherine’s? Or were you enthralled by the new sights and sounds along the way? I put my hand up for the second choice for, you see, this voluntary detour away from the Nine Mile Road was for me, the beginning of an unexpected but captivating love affair with Harricott. Harricott. If you have ever been blessed enough to visit this St. Mary’s Bay community, you know why my heart is singing. If not, let me describe it for you. Situated near the head of St. Mary’s Bay, Harricott is green and blue. It’s that triple threat show girl you’ve seen on your favourite reality TV show. She can dance. She can sing. She can ride a wild horse while ironing her slacks and drinking a cup of tea. That’s Harricott. The sea stretches before you as you enter the community, wide and expansive. Further along, the verdant green and velvety river-fed meadows catch the eye. Dotting the roadside beyond are tidy, picture book houses that seem to belong in one of those puzzles where “Quintessential Seaside Town” is written on the box. And then there is the Harricott talisman – the lone tree that stands on the point, weather beaten and wind resistant. This tree, for me, has always been a definer of Harricott, almost like our own beloved Hayjers Rock. But alluring natural surroundings aren’t the only charm here. It’s home to Harricott Farms, a long-standing, locally developed, locally-lead business that is home to some groovy and happy food. And that’s pretty amazing. At a time when the fate of rural communities is being discussed ever so unimaginatively, you have a family run business that is not just having a moment but whose story is being rewritten by the next generation. And hope is all around our little communities if we take the time to look. In our own community, two new state of the art longliners are sitting snuggly at the wharf-one captained by a young fisherman from Point Lance who is not yet 30 and the other led by a fisherman who is taking a second chance at the fishery after a close call with tragedy last season. Further down the road in Branch, a new home is being built by a surfer-welder-teacher, the first one in decades to be built in Beckford. So how could you not fall in love with places like these? Truth be known, I could fall in love with any small community that looks itself in the mirror, flicks it’s hair over its shoulders, smiles proudly and feels hopeful. Now that the Nine Mile Road is complete, and we are travellers on that twisty stretch once again, I already miss you Harricott. But please know that across the bay, your admirer is still singing your praises.