The The hidden years in Canada 87, the beach

Door San-Daniel gepubliceerd op Tuesday 07 July 07:08


The beach

We walked with our feet through the clear water and found a piece of river that would be deep enough to swim in. The sun was shining with a strength and was lost in a time that belonged to a summer's day. It is a special phenomenon that occurs more often in the colder regions of Canada. It is preceded by a ‘chinook’ which is an Indian word for a warm breeze and is often followed by an 'Indian summer'. It is not surprising when such a phenomenon, like that takes place, even in the winter. I remembered what I had learned in school about the Chinooks in geography and the Indian summers. Alberta and the Bow valley where we lived, were known for its many Chinooks and the first nations people, the Indians had many stories and myths in which Chinooks occurred. I was astonished when our teacher had told us that  in Pincher Creek in 1962, the temperature had risen within 1 hour from -19 to 22 degrees above zero. Montana, just across the border had a similar case which was in all the textbooks. In Loma, Montana temperature of -48 had gone to 9 degrees but that had been in the space of half a day. It had been almost impossible to imagine that there existed such a warm wind that cold bring a difference of 57 degrees within a few hours, Canada is a land of extremes, I thought as my feet splashed the water up.

 The Indian summer was not so much to do with the Indians as with the Indian Ocean, where the weather conditions suffer great differences throughout the year, from quiet to bestial conditions. The container ships that were going from Canada, which also belonged to the Commonwealth, to Australia had to trust on their bow a cargo sign. That sign indicated to where the ship could be safely loaded depending on the season. It was, ‘I.S.’ Indian or Indian summer season. It had been a trick question on one of the many papers we received monthly and that confirmed our findings and progress. It was basically about a sudden unexpected weather condition. ‘Hey,’ laughed Bev, 'a penny for your thoughts. You're far away! ‘ I looked up into her face and could not avoid the water that she splashed at me. The school disappeared and Bev and I were about to splash each other silly. ‘What a great day,’ she said, when we were both out of breath. ‘We’ll go over there,’ she said, and she pointed to a bend of the river with a beach. ‘ The water is calm there, so it must run deep and we can sunbathe and swim. ‘


‘Come all along with mother, 'I cried,' big mama has set the course.’ It was particular how we were guided through our day by Bev, she had a very strong personality. When we got closer, we saw that Bev, of course, had been right. The river was wide and flowed quietly because it was deeper at the turn. It had a beach of fine sand river only a few meters wide, inviting and soft. ‘Oh, just lazing about,’ Don sighed and began to remove his clothes. ‘Hey guys,’ Bev said, ‘this is not the Bowriver, if we go swimming we can go skinny dipping, and go naked on to the beach but I do not want to see naked men.’ ‘You certainly determine a lot,’ Richard said as he looked intently at Bev. Bev colored a bit, ‘I do not like it when I'm between a number of naked men.’ 'Naked men and Don, ‘laughed Richard. ‘Hey,’ said Don, ‘it's easy, she doesn’t not want to see your hairy ass.’ ‘Quiet Don,’ I said, 'how do you know Richard’s ass is hairy? ‘ ‘What,’ asked Don hostile? ‘Well his hairy thingy 'and I started laughing. ‘Just in earnest,’ I said, ‘it's not so difficult to respect Bev's wish?’ ‘Well no,’ Richard said, ‘but it makes me think of paradise lost by Milton.’ ‘I understand you,’ I said with a smile, ‘you're ready to sit the literature exam.’ ‘I don’t understand,’ said Don, ‘will someone explain this?’ ‘We have lost our innocence as in the poem by Milton,’ I said. ‘Oh,’ said Don, and sat down.

San Daniel 2015

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