Metropolitan Homesick Blues

Southampton Stories & Other Stuff

What Do They Know?

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Sitting watching the waves wash over the rocks I couldn’t help but wonder, how long have they been there.

Surely longer than the town.

It was the weekend of Southampton’s 150th Anniversary. Celebrations were well under way. High Street was closed and tricked out in bunting of blue and white, as were some of the homes. Perhaps thousands watched the parade. Day and night there was music everywhere – activities and demonstrations for everyone of any age – dances – a bustling beer tent – regattas – beach volleyball – giant kites – a lantern parade around Fairy Lake at dusk – stories told and memories recalled.

They took everything old, pictures and stories, and made them permanent in books so future generations could look back and understand where the town came from and what its heritage was all about.

And the rocks, sitting on the shore, year after year after year, silent, stoic, embedded in the sand, imperceptibly worn away by the relentless surf…what stories could they tell?

Did they come by glacier from the far north? Where they there in 1812 when French fur traders opened for business at the mouth of the Saugeen River? Did Captain John Spence and William Kennedy step over them when they landed on shore in 1848 with thoughts of settling the area? Or were they dredged from the river mouth or lake bottom and dropped there when they first built the harbour that makes Southampton the oldest port on the Bruce Coast?

These stones will never tell us what they’ve seen and heard. Unlike us, stones tend to hide their history. They will continue to sit there letting time wash over them. It will be decades before you see any change in them. We pale against their permanence. Stronger, more resilient than you and I, they will be there, in the same place, watching as Southampton celebrates anniversary after anniversary, century after century.


Written by metropolitanhomesickblues

August 19, 2008 at 7:50 PM

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