Subhan Allah, the physical beauty of the country I call home, takes my breath away at times.

A few days after the whirlwind that was Eid, I left on a week vacation with my son. We went on a bus tour of the Maritimes. The Maritimes is the far eastern region of Canada with a distinctly nautical feel to them!

We drove and we drove. A round trip of 4500 km through Quebec, to New Brunswick, to Nova Scotia and PEI and back home again.

And even though I’ve been out that way several times in my life, this time I saw things that I had never seen before.

On the tour we went to Hopewell Rocks, in the Bay of Fundy!



I stood right under that arch at low tide and felt the magnitude of all the rock above me!

The Bay of Fundy has arguably the highest tides in the world.

And the whole idea of tides is something that is often hard for us to really understand.

We went to Green Gables,

yup, THAT Green Gables of Anne fame, and I meandered through the house and I walked Lovers Lane and I stood inside the lee of overhanging conifer branches that formed the Haunted Wood and I thought of all the whimsy of L.M. Montgomery’s story, and the tragedy that she was too cynical in some ways to really believe in it herself. If you think of it, her stories were filled with heroines constantly bucking social convention, and yet she, in her life, was not able to do that. And in the end she killed herself.

Of course they make no mention of any of that during the 8 minute film about her life that they show you in the welcome centre but my son and I had an interesting conversation about it as we continued to drive away.

We visited Cavendish beach, which I had never seen before, and we skipped little round stones as red as the soil of the island into the ocean waves, and we saw seaweed and bits of broken shells and jelly fish, looking like little mounds of purple jello, stranded on the sand.

(This is not a picture I took. It was cloudy when we were there, but this is the gist of the feel of the place.)

Anyone who could commit suicide with access to such beauty in their life is…so tragic, so needless, so ungrateful!!!!

And we saw her grave in Cavendish cemetery, just a bit down the road from where she grew up.

Evoking L. M. Montgomery and the ‘Anne of Green Gables’ sensation ...

And my son observed that many great authors had really terrible family lives and I agreed. And part of me wondered if you could even be a great author with a stable family home life and a stable personality, and I came to the conclusion that yes, you can.

And all the time we were surrounded by flocks of Chinese tourists, snapping photographs and yet most of them had never read Anne of Green Gables and so they had no idea how significant the place really was.

We saw Charlottetown, the birthplace of Confederation (of Canada), in 1864, and even though it’s the provincial capital, only about 20,000 people live in it, and that’s not much more than my home town of Dundas, and I pondered on what makes Charlottetown significant, and Dundas not.

And I ate lobster! What an adventure that was!

It’s quite good actually. I can kind of see what all the fuss is about, but my son summed it up well and said, “What a lot of work to eat a meal!”

I ate the meat from within the claws and tail just fine, but as I opened up the torso and saw all this greenish pasty stuff I wrinkled my nose. Why would I want to dine on whatever the lobster itself had been eating?

The Chinese around us were cracking open the torso, and scooping out the stuff with glee. They urged me to eat, so I tried a bit but it tasted kind of gamey so I put it into the bucket they’d provided, to discard it. But then I saw some of the Chinese talking among themselves and gesturing at me and when I asked, the tour guide said, “Oh she said she was so sad when she saw you throw out the head! That’s the best part! She wanted it!”

And even he said to give him our torsos if we didn’t want them! So the next day when we ate lobster again (this time like  semi-pros and not such newbs) we did indeed give him our torsos. And we even gave tips to the Indian couple seated next to us as they ate lobster for the first time.

And we loved Peggy’s Cove! Nova Scotia is just the most beautiful rugged landscape you can imagine! And this time I had no little children to watch out for. I could stroll down through the village at my leisure while my son explored the rocks, and I could soak in the feel of the place and admire the brilliant pinks of the wild roses and dianthus that grew in profusion out of the rocky crevices impervious to the salt water spray.

It is so beautiful and so charming because they’re not trying to be anything than absolutely who they are, and there’s something noble and admirable about that!


It was a genial group on tour with us! And I’ll never forget the time I spent with my son!

Came back exhausted but full of awe!

Canada is indeed an awesome place!