31 August 2015

58 – Same Difference, Pt. 1

This is the first of a three-part series of essays.

It’d been a single essay until the final stages of editing. But editing requires thinking. And thinking about the subject led me into doing what I’m writing about: finding variety in the same things.

I don’t know if this’ll work. But I’m having a go. Just like a kid would. Which is fine because that’s what I want to be when I grow up anyways.

This particular essay’s inspired by sunrise hikes. So put your eyes on.

I’m a creature of habit. I like doing things in a pre-determined sequence. It works for me. And I’m doing things that way until I have kids. Because as my epic friend Double M pointed out: once you have kids you learn to take things as they come. Sounds like a preview of coming attractions to me.

I don’t call the way I do things routines or habits. In my world they’re Systems. I’ve got Systems for everything. Weekends included. But I don’t call them weekends. In my world they’re BobTime.

What can I say? In my world I’ve got strange names for things. Which makes sense really. I’m a Newf, and Newfs have got queer names and phrases for everyday things. ‘Same difference’ is one of them. In Newf-land it’s like saying ‘whatever.’ Which is also covered by saying ‘What odds.’ So there’s two new ways for you to say ‘whatever.’

Feel like you’re after being mind-fucked? What odds, we got Systems to talk about.

About the only thing I don’t have a proper System for is writing. I don’t plan to be creative. It doesn’t work that way. I just make sure I’m ready to pounce whenever it shows its face. And I often find myself pouncing on it during one of my favourite BobTime activities.

So let’s go there.

I go hiking in the same place every fine weekend. Its proper title is Herring Cove Provincial Park Reserve. But I don’t call it that. In my world it’s The Shore.

I always go hiking down to The Shore at dawn to watch the sun rise. I always wander off in the same direction, and I stop to watch and listen from the same places. I always bring a thermos of coffee. And I mark my territory on the same trees. What can I tell you? I don’t want to fuck with the local wildlife’s own Systems.

But each hike down to The Shore is different. I've gone for some summer trots when it's been 20 degrees celsius at dawn. And I've gone down to The Shore on winter mornings when it's -25 degrees celsius. Layers, boys and girls. Layers. 

Regardless of the weather, I never follow the same route. 

You just can’t take the same step twice down there. 

The rocks and cliffs won’t have it. 

I wander down different side paths during each hike. 

Different trees and rocks catch my eye once they’re caught in the light of the rising sun.

That light is always different too. Sometimes dawn comes in clear and bright. 

Some mornings it arrives in a long hazy glow along the horizon. 

Other mornings it breathes fire across the water.

The same goes for the sky. Some mornings the sun rises into a clear sky. 

Other mornings that sky is dusted with clouds. 

A sun rising into a thick bank of fog or clouds sets the sky on fire. 

And where there’s fire, there’s smoke.

The water behaves differently each week too. I always make a point to stop and listen to the water. And it always has different things to say to me. 

Some mornings it’s a quiet sheet of calm glass, whispering its arrival to the shore. 

Other mornings it throws itself against the shore, a thunder rising from the depths before exploding into a shower of foaming sparks.

So even though I go hiking at the same place at dawn every fine weekend, it’s never monotonous. The hikes are never boring. Each one is different. And that makes each hike down by The Shore just as exciting as the last.

I get the same feeling from exercise. And that’s where we’ll go next time in #59. 

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What's a House Newf?

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The House Newf is from a rugged and beautiful island on the eastern edge of Canada called Newfoundland. He was first identified by a potter with a naturalist's flair, and he does in fact live in a house under the watchful eye of a cat that seems bewildered by the universe at large. That house is in Halifax, Nova Scotia and that's where the House Newf writes fiction and essays on things that add value to his life that may add some value to yours. You can contact him at bobharding80@gmail.com, follow him on Twitter @theHouseNewf, on Instagram @thehousenewf, and like him on Facebook. The House Newf is a unique specimen. Every home should have one.