People are permitted at Kakabeka Falls today, and I have just been down to see them, and to feel their power. The constancy of water. The obstinance of rock. The struggle is heroic. Water goes where water will. Rock holds its place.
Beneath all the other sounds hums the deep bass note of the universe - that E-flat octaves below the range of our own hearing, but we can feel it in our chests, in harmony with the rumble of blood through the heart.
Saturday evening I had supper with Marg and our friends Cindy and Patty, and with Marg's daughter Alanna and her son Douglas. Marg grilled burgers on the patio behind the house. Alanna barbecued bananas, a family recipe:
Slit the skin of the banana on the inside of the curve so that it will close back up. Split the banana itself lengthwise, and put a mixture of chocolate chips and marshallow sauce between the banana halves. Wrap the banana with tin foil. Grill long enough to soften the banana and to melt the chocolate chips. Serve with a spoon for digging the goodies out of the banana skin.
What is friendship? It is the connection and the caring, this feeling of belonging on someone's patio in a foreign country and a far place, having hamburgers and salad, potato salad and grilled new potatoes, etc., and belonging. Yes, belonging. Feeling part of a greater community. If enough Americans would meet this way with people of other countries, on terms similar to those in which we met Marg and Cindy and Patty, I think war would come to an end and there would be, finally, peace on earth.
On Sunday evening I had supper with Black Pete of Red Wine & Garlic, and his wife and 17-year-old daughter. Again, hamburgers on the grill, potatoes, beer, friendship, and a bit of music. Yes, music. Peter with his 12-string Guild and his 6-string Sawchyn. Me with Miss Thunder. Peter is more folk-singer, familiar with the folk progressions; and I am more country bassist, familiar with country progressions and fiddle tunes, and yet we found some common ground. And at one point Peter cut loose with Ontario's anthem for me, "Black Fly." We played for a bit in the universal language of music, the blues, in the keys of D, then E,, then A. A river of notes flowed over us; any differences that might exist between Thunder Bay and Fairwater were subsumed in the music. Our instruments were sisters, and the two of us playing the instruments were brothers. Photos here and here and here. Thanks, Peter, for the music, and for letting me try to keep up with the flow of it. There is nothing quite so lovely as making music with a new-found friend.
Afterwards, we had some chocolate cake with a dallop of ice cream on the side. And then soon enough Peter had to think about getting to bed so he could get up in the morning to go to work. The Middlewesterner, on the other hand, was "on holiday," as they say up here, and could get up whenever he wanted.
I did get up and walk this morning, in the spit of rain, six miles. I walked ten miles yesterday, eight miles the day before, a total of forty miles during my stay in Thunder Bay.
The world is a wonderful place when it embraces you the way I have been embraced here.
I am sitting in the car at Kakabeka Falls making these notes, and I feel the roar of the water's constancy, and I am as happy as I have ever been. It's a grey sky and the world seems a little damp and it doesn't matter. I find heaven in this single moment, if I am ever to find heaven at all. There will be no heaven there if there is no heaven here.