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Pine Barrens w sig-bord for web DSC_4453

Pine Barrens w sig-bord for web DSC_4453

The Bonus and the Barrens
"Did that guy really just jump up in the air and click his heels three times? What does he think? This is Oz and he can get back home?"
"He's new. He got a bonus. He's happy. You remember happy?"
"I'm happy to be working."
"Right. Well, get those sandbags on that tripod. We're on ice here. We lose a camera, you may not be working long. Anyway, he's laughing happy. You remember laughing happy?"
"No, not really."
"Me neither."
The two bearded, long-haired men in puffy black parkas and dark glasses and black tuques bent to their labour, shaking their heads at their equipment as Farhead in the middle of his happy dance began to sing in Farsi.
"This is the place!" Farhead said to Nearheart as they spread their picnic cloth over the rocks at the top of the sea cliff. "I was here, and I could see that landscape there, and I knew it was a picture they would like!"
Nearheart shivered as she sat on the cloth. "I'm happy you're happy. At least I'm happily amused. But a picnic out here in this weather? Why couldn't we go to a restaurant? Oh, wait, because a bonus that small would barely cover the bill?"
"You miss the point, my dear Nearheart. It is success we are looking at. A small one to begin with, yes, but it will point the way. I can feel it. Luck is changing. Therefore we must celebrate. And what better place than these Barrens so-called? This is the source. We are courting the spirits. See those trees and how an everlasting wind seems to bend them? There are spirits there. I knew it when I took the picture."
Nearheart sighed as she poured steaming broth from a thermos and handed her husband his cup. "It is grand," she admitted, notwithstanding whatever spirits they might be trying to placate or what that had to do with anything, because of something else that she had on her mind and was tempted, sorely tempted, to declare.
"It is grand," he said, "and we will do grand things!"
She regarded his shining countenance as he sipped from his cup. This was the place indeed, she thought, and what better time? Against her better judgement she surrendered to her longing. She took his free hand in hers, glove to mitten, and said softly with her heart beating loudly, "Yes we will. And wouldn't it be grand, my silly man, to have a baby?"
That was all the conversation for the duration of their impromptu outing. The clouds parted to let the sun through, the surf said gently at their backs that anything was possible, and Nearheart gripped her Farhead's hand more tightly as she watched a tear spill down his cheek.
It was as if doors were opening all through the Barrens and spirits emerging everywhere. She hoped they would be friendly. She was betting her life.
11 February 2022
Texas Jim
High Head Trail, Nova Scotia
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