Metropolitan Homesick Blues

Southampton Stories & Other Stuff


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Slowly – at trolling speed – a solitary fisherman guides his boat under the Albert Street Bridge and turns into the shadows along the shore of the Saugeen hardly leaving a wake. The sun is burning its way through the trees casting a trail of sparkling diamonds on the water.

High in the blue western sky the waning moon is still visible. Yesterday evening, in its fullness, this harvest moon lit up the night with an eerie silver light. But, it’s done now.

There’s a chill in the morning air. Frost sits on roof tops and covers lawns with a white tint. Mist rises over the river’s surface. The vivid fall colours are close to over. Some trees are already bare. A cold wind stripped them the other day. Now they lay in haphazard piles on the lawns, in the fields on sidewalks and roads, their colours dying. They decay into dust or mush depending on the heaviness of the morning dew. Walking though them creates a rustle that makes you smile.

Sunsets are earlier. Sunrise is later. Snow fences are going up along the beach. Summer people are boarding up their homes and cottages. Summer is long gone. 

Southampton is known for its sunsets. Tourists gather all summer long at the big flag on the shore of the lake to watch and listen as the Piper provides background music for the sun’s setting. Our sunrises, on the other hand, are seldom celebrated. And what a shame.

The best place to watch the rising sun is from the bridge. It gives you a long view down the Saugeen. So you can watch the big golden ball climbing up over the horizon and throwing its light down on the river bringing a completely different brand of beauty.

The river is a good indicator of the change. There are fewer boats on shore. Most of the docks are in. Only one or two still remain. Ducks and Cormorants are heading south. Some of the summer residents have done so as well. Highberry Farms’ migrant workers will be heading home to the warmth of Mexico in a few days. Southampton is quite. All the signs are there. We are relentlessly moving towards winter.

As the sun rises over the river and the trees reflect themselves on the surface it is hard to imagine the freeze that’s coming. How thick will the ice be?  Will the town people gather on the harbour shore – day after day – waiting and watching for the ice out – as they did two winters ago?

These are questions for the coming cold. For now, the Saugeen basks in the morning sun…waiting.



Written by metropolitanhomesickblues

October 18, 2008 at 10:45 PM

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