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Prospect a Village by the Sea DSC_8117

Prospect a Village by the Sea DSC_8117

Little Mac Rests His Eyes

As Gillie and Emma Christian in Serendipity were motoring into the harbour with their daily take of lobster, Little Mac in his dinghy was drifting out with his eyes closed and his oars shipped.

Sensing something might be out of order, Gillie brought the Cape Islander around and came gently alongside the dinghy.

"This ain't your bedroom," Emma called across. "Are you sure you should be sleeping?"

When Little Mac failed to respond, she took a boathook and tapped on the hull of the dinghy and called again, "Hey, Mac, are you all right?"

Holding one hand up as if to ward off further intervention, Little Mac said sharply, "I'm not sleeping. I'm just resting my eyes whilst I contemplate."

"I knew you was a'contemplatin'. I saw you had your thinking cap on. But you might want to contemplate that it's breezin' up and blowin' you out where it's gettin' a little rough. Wind's dead out of the north. You might have trouble gettin' back."

Still without opening his eyes, Little Mac appeared to lose his temper. He jerked off the bright yellow tea cosy that served as his thinking cap and threw it into the sea. After the cosy and with more of a splash went the two oars, one after the other. Then he yelled, "And who are you to tell me what to do? Who do you think you are? Who do you think I am? These are questions that need to be studied! And how can they be studied when you won't let the studier study?"

Retreating into the wheelhouse, Emma said to Gillie at the wheel, "Oh, dear."

"Yup," said Gillie. He tugged his watch cap down a little lower over his forehead. "Just let me finish this cigarette. You get his cap?"

"Yup. Fished it out with the boathook."

"Course you did. Okay. We'll get his oars. Then we'll tie on and take him back."


"No, I didn't take him anywhere. I just put him to bed," said Big Bertha. She had her phone set to speaker so she could pick the seaweed out of her husband's thinking cap as she rocked.

"Well, you might say he's getting worse," she said. "Just more himself is what I think. Might as well try to turn back the tide. Hon, he don't have that long. Neither do I. I won't send him away. He'll go out as Little Mac entirely, and I'll love him the more for it. Till then we'll be together. Yes, that's just how it is. I love you too."

Her daughter meant well, but at forty years old she was still such a child in the matter of love. Maybe she would never get it. As far as Big Bertha could tell, there were no guarantees. She accomplished getting herself out of the rocker, then got a tray and put on it the pot of chamomile tea that had been brewing. Chamomile seemed to calm Mac better than anything else when his contemplations overwhelmed him, but it was a tea that needed to steep for a while to be strong enough. So the fact that her daughter liked to chatter forever, no matter the subject, was not a bad thing.

She made her way up the stairs with the tray, to which she had added Mac's favorite cup, the white one with Mickey Mouse on it. Someday soon, she reminded herself as halfway up the ascent got to be such a struggle, the bedroom had to come downstairs.

"Oh, you got your eyes open," she said to Little Mac as she put the tray down beside him. "Cup o' tea interest you?"

"Bertie," said Mac. "I didn't know who they was. Gillie and Emma, for goodness sake. That's the truth of it. And when I threw my cap into the sea, I didn't even remember that you made it for me. And it was just Christmas when you give it to me."

"Never you mind, my little darlin'," said Bertha. "Drink up. Drink up and talk to me. You know it's always better when you talk to me."

Mac drank the first cup, had her pour him another, then said, "It was the church, you see. I was a'contemplatin' on the steeple, and the cross, and how it really ain't a church no more but just a buildin'. Folks in charge, in Rome I guess, say it don't pay for itself so it can't be a church no more and you can't meet there anymore. You can see it best from the harbour, to my way o' thinkin', so I was a'studyin' of it from the dinghy. Like, what is it if it ain't a church? What if the folks that bought it, what if they make it somethin' else? What if they take the steeple down, that stuck up in the sky with its cross till you could see it twenty miles away at sea? That the mariners know and find their way home by? That people know our village by? That lets us villagers know where we are? And it made me crazy, Bertie, 'cause I had no answers. And I thought, if you can change a thing just by sayin' so, then who are we, Bertie? Who are we?"

Big Bertha did not want to complicate the matter with an answer just then, so she let her husband talk on until he had talked himself out. But she remembered what she had wanted to say, and when the chamomile had worked its wonder and he had closed his anguished eyes again and was sleeping, she said, "It don't matter, little darlin'. We're in love. That's all that matters. We're in love. And you can rest your eyes on that. As long as you have eyes, my dear, you rest your eyes on that."

There were things she had to do, there were orders to be sewn and there were bills she had to pay. But for the moment, she decided, that could all wait. She lay down by her Little Mac, and they rested their eyes together.

16 January 2018
Texas Jim
Prospect, Nova Scotia
Category:Architecture and Structures
Subcategory:Places of Interest
Subcategory Detail:
Keywords:Canada, Nova, Prospect, Scotia, atlantic, coast, colorful, granite, houses, islands, north, ocean, rocky, sea, seaside, village, waves, windy