Occasion of the Soul
Landfall in a Nor’easter — painted on location on Sable Island, N.S. Canada
© Shar Irving-Kennedy 2009
After a magical night of observing meteor showers while lying on Sable’s north beach, we all went to bed. I awoke at 2am, and as I could not sleep I ventured outside to continue this meteoric theatrical production; to my delight I found myself standing under a spew of them. But as I watched these primordial elements of the skies my thoughts moved to tiny Sable Island and the large part it had played in Canada’s history, the days, the years, its lifetime before this moment. Thoughts of the past keepers of the island, the lighthouses, and the many life rescues, soon captured my imagination, and in that instant I simply got out my paints in an attempt to express this reflective moment.
I saw boats being tossed and thrown towards the beach, and others helping feverishly in an attempt to guide them to safety. These men had spent hours within a fear-provoking storm, and a landing marred by horrific conditions brought on by high winds and surging seas, in complete darkness. Once each and every man had reached the safety of shore, together they struggled in their walk to find shelter. Having survived this long night on the intensely, turbulent seas, through the violence of the storm, they had been rescued, they had survived their plight, this time.
After that transforming night I truly felt that I was beginning to understand this place Sable Island, this living, breathing relic of the earth. It appeared to me to be a land of peace yet of struggle, a place of beginnings and endings, a place of acceptance yet yearnings, an island of wonder. Yes I had connected with a land so old, in a place so distant. Sable in all her splendour is a land of dreams, she’s alive, and thriving as a rare example of the true nature of this earth.
Sable Island thank you, for it has been a rare occasion of the soul.
Shar Irving-Kennedy (s.d.i.k.), September 2009
Granville Centre, Nova Scotia