I remember going blueberry picking in the bush near the cottage in Britt when I was eight or nine. Mom carries baskets. Dad carries peanuts in shells. We always bring Princess with us, my great-Aunt Irene’s German Shepherd. Princess leads the way over the granite and moss, into the desolate, dense back bushes on the coast of Georgian Bay, guarding us from the possibility of walking into sleeping black bears or sunning massasauga rattlers.
The Lamondin family has lived in Britt, Ontario since the beginning of Britt’s history. I’ve heard stories about when Britt was a logging town, when the coal docks were the centre of activity, when the railway was installed, when electricity arrived, and when the lighthouse became automated and no longer required a keeper. As my parents drive up and down the Britt road, they recite histories of the buildings and the families, sometimes going back a hundred years.
Last weekend was truly decadent. My car rested in the driveway from Friday after work until Monday morning. For two days I played. I felt like a child wrapped up in some important project like digging a hole in the sandbox and hoping it would lead to China or creating a dramatic play in the garage with all the kids from the neighbourhood. The work felt overwhelming, necessary, thrilling–just like the adventurous projects of my childhood.