As I sat on the stone steps leading down to Mavillette Beach Provincial Park on Baie Sainte-Marie that first night, with a simple and absolutely delicious supper of soul warming clam rappie pie and a salad of fresh, local greens and delectable strawberries from Comeau’s Farm Market, listening to the tide rolling in, I knew I was home, at least for a spell. This is what I’d driven across Canada, from coast to coast for, for the way that Nova Scotia sings to my soul and calms me down. As I enjoyed my first of many beautifully relaxing sunsets from that same spot for the week, I raised my glass of Corberrie cider in thanks to finding myself in this most beautiful of spots, which over the next week would begin to restore my strength.
It had not been an easy year for me. I’d spent the COVID pandemic helping my mom battle through cancer, which after a couple of years of treatments culminated in her having her bladder removed. I’d been her primary caregiver all through that, while also trying to manage my own chronic pain from a damaged nervous system and connective tissue on my spine. My migraines and post concussion symptoms from two car accidents were being particularly problematic with the stress of the past winter, and I had a pile of student work to mark. It was that student marking that had landed me at the Cape View Motel and Cottages for the week, rather than joining colleagues from a conference on all sorts of adventures throughout Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. This as it turned out was a blessing in disguise.
Cape View Motel and Cottages
Cape View Motel and Cottages is nestled on a slight bluff, overlooking Mavillette Beach Provincial Park on Baie Sainte-Marie. There I settled into the cutest A-frame cottage for the week and spent my days enjoying local delicacies, seafood and produce from Comeau’s Farm Market, marking my students’ work, and going for long walks on Mavillette Beach, usually at low tide.
Mavillette Beach Provincial Park
Mavillette Beach Provincial Park is one of those magical natural places that one can never get enough of. Being between the tides, it is a dynamic, ever-changing environment in which there is always something new to discover.
As I enjoyed my long walks there daily, I explored tidal pools, watch periwinkles race, happened upon the shedded exoskeletons of lobsters and Dungeness crab, marvelled at the sand casts of the sand mason worm, and investigated beds of rockweed.
I discovered golden streaked caves, stumbled upon unexpected waterfalls, and was taken on a journey through geological history exploring the weather and tidal worn rock creating fluvial stone masterpieces of nature.
I experienced the best of the local people from the Municipality of Clare on Mavillette Beach, as I joined in a community pride celebration on the beach, and was warmly welcomed by the families there, sitting and chatting away the afternoon.
As I wandered further down the beach, I happily joined in a yoga class en francais.
Mavillette Beach is a community gathering spot, it was clear, and a space where both locals and travellers are invited to participate in the local activities.
One of those local activities that had me smiling as I wandered back along the surf towards my cabin and a supper of local scallops, was watching the surfers manoeuvring the waves along the break. Even if you do not already surf, thanks to The Good Wave Project, you can learn to do so on Mavillette Beach.
Each time I visited here, I felt it increasingly difficult to leave. This place had my heart.
Later as I enjoyed my last supper on the beach, a seafood linguini – made with leftovers from my shop at Comeau’s Farm Market, and another Corberrie cider, while taking in one last sunset in this most beautiful of places, I marvelled at the difference a week can make when spent in the right place. I might have spent the past week on a deadline and buried in marking, but I was feeling restored, healthy and strong. My daily walks on the soft sand had helped me build back some of my strength in a gentle way, and between the sounds of the surf and the sea air, the beauty that is Mavillette Beach had calmed down my nervous system and my concussion systems. All this leaving me feeling stronger, more relaxed and happier than I had in years, and ready for my next adventure!
Thanks Mavillette Beach! Until next time ….