Sunday, June 04, 2006

Cates Park

There's a place where daffodils catch the wind in their faces, where they grow wild in abundance in the months of March or April, depending on the temperature that spring will present. Children clad in candy pinks and turquoise will greedily gather armfuls, cooing with glee at their bounty. There were once were tailored beds to display the bobbing canary heads, grassy mounds produce a multitude of yellowed trumpets with egg-yoke centres that dance playfully when the mischievous gusts caresses the slopes where the jaunty jonquils burgeon. Over time, the transition from vivid blooms to narcissus-like paleness has evolved in these flaunting, friendly flushes of seemingly sun-bleached colour that hold fast to the ground when the wind would have them fly away.

The grassy mounds are a meandering distance from the ocean's brine. The ocean is barely in view, and the salty air may have contributed to the erosion of colour. This is a non-scientific hypothesis. Walking towards the shore, a strengthening breeze can be felt and in spring, the rush of callous air is chilling. A treed protection can be found if a bar-b-que is desired. Quiet and solitude is still possible in April.

As May and June erupt into summer's sultry intoxication, the rocky shore becomes populated with a frenzy of watersports, sunbathers, families and couples, even solitary worshipers, meandering or splayed on blankets and mats for the hour or two or day to picnic and create sandcastles in the meagre display of sand, collect the shore's bounty, or play games with balls or rackets. Some will swim, although the effluent from industry is ever-present, and well known to this cove.

There is a singular group, more interested in being on the water than watching it or swimming in it, who will launch a boat for more aggressive entertainment. The boaters will hoist a motored ship into the slapping waves, pile coolers of drinks and snacks, lotion-glistening bodies into the crafts, and geared with hats or not, will charge into the oceanic abyss. Motor boats will flap on the water crests, with or without water-skiers in tow. Speed is always involved, and the faster the boat can skim and the higher it will bounce, the more the passengers are enthralled.

These motorized vehicles are operated by and carry a different mentality than the sail boaters, who wrestle with wind's whim and the cajoling of the water's inconsistency. The beach dwellers will have these graceful multilateral wind-shifters blow across the view, slipping silently throughout the broad wake made by the speed-demons that circle. A gull may caw, the wind will howl while sand whips granules into the potato salad, but the grace of these triangulations that heave over the waterway will entrance the watcher into admiration for the majestic display.

Sometimes, instead of traditionally white sails, billows will form in stark yellow canvas. These brightly clad hoists are seldom without a party of sailboats, sailing in an event. Bouncing and bobbing under a watery sky, there is a chance to think of brazen daffodils, petals enlarged and released to a watery frenzy. Gathering these blooms cannot not take place, but a bouquet of joy's abundance is found in this windy platitude, watching the antics of wind's revelry in that wind... in Cates Park... also known as Whey-Ah-Whichen, which means 'faces the wind'.