Tales of a 21st Century Gypsy

August 11, 2006. Burin, the fog

Well, now the town of Burin was just something else. Whoíd have expected that? You makes a detour to a town for some foolish reason, like you might be able to get on the computer easier, or theyíre going to have a festival and you wants to find the schedule. Canít find the library with internet access, and the festival sounds like a dud, but one look at the scenery and youíre planted there like you never seen such a thing before. Even though itís some foggy and the rain pouring down.

In St. Johnís, and down towards Cape St. Maryís, itís a big landscape, big rocks, long sweeping vistas down the coast. Not Burin. Thatís a landscape in miniature, it is, with all the curves and coves and twists and turns, with islands, harbors, docks, and clusters of houses set every which way and all looking out at the sea from every side. It settled right in my brain, it did, even got me talking different, like someone as comes from around there maybe. Or like someone else who got his voice into my head, or maybe just into my fingers on the keyboard, and talking like I never thought to say

nothing since my mom started correcting my grammar and me just a little girl, I was.

So in Burin, see, you can head out the road till it splits, and you can go right or left, but either way, the road is going to end just a little ways past. And all on that road, you look forward or backward, youíre gonna see a few houses and some water and then the road turns some and you canít see nothing beyond that. So you keeps on going, and around that curve you see water on the other side and a hill on the side where you was seeing houses and water. Them hills, theyíre not very big, but theyíre some steep, you wouldnít want to climb up them, and youíd just be sliding if you tried to come back down.

So Burinís like that, all them little coves and curves and hills and a few folks living in each bit of a spot where thereís enough flat ground to pitch a house or a church or a shop. Well I walked down to the end of that road, headed left where she split, and found a church and a nice green house out on a bit

of land with water almost all around it. No one in that house now, itís just left to fall apart and die if someone donít take it in hand, give it a good cleaning and some patching and make sure the windows is sound and the pipes donít bust in the winter. Iíd like that house, I would. Even though in the fog and the rain I couldnít see nothing out beyond it, just the edge of the water and then it all disappears.

The next day, donít the sun come right out, and the fog and the rain they was gone, for a bit anyways. You know how it is up here, thereís always fog and rain someplace not far, waiting to slip in when you isnít paying attention. And in the sun, what did I see, but how that green house and that white church, they was just right across the water from where I started my walk. It took me a good hour to walk there on that road, but if I coulda gone across the water it wouldnít have been but ten minutes from where I started.

Thatís what the fog does, dontcha know. You think youíre right alone, just you on your spot of land, and past you there ainít nothing, just that soft wooly gray and you can peer into it all you want and you ainít never gonna see nothing but gray, no matter how hard you look. But then the sun comes out, and the fog turns white and bright and you think maybe thereís something in there, but you canít quite tell. But sure enough there must be, because the water, as started out smooth and dull gray-brown, is rippled and dancing and itís blue now. And then instead of just seeing greay, you can actually see fog, it has a shape, isnít it just floating there right on the water. Only somehow you couldnít see it before, hard as you tried. And then right quick it just seems to dissolve, like cotton candy in your mouth, it does. And you realize you wasnít ever alone on your spot of land, thereís a whole village of other folks right nearby, only you couldnít even know they was there with all that fog.

So thatís what Burinís like, one minute itís there, all them houses and coves and fishing boats riding in the water. And the next minute thereís just you in the gray, and youíre wondering didnít you maybe just dream all them houses across the water and that pretty white church looking down from the hill.

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