Leaning Out For Light

Aki and I are slowly working out way down the Breadline Bluffs Trail. It’s almost high tide. Soon the already narrow beach protecting the bluffs from erosion will disappear beneath the surf. Then each wave will suck away a little of the bluff. Wind, waves and rain have always hammered the bluffs and undercut the roots of 200-yea-old spruce. Several have recently fallen onto the beach, taking with them big chunks of the bluffs.  

            The old spruce lean out over the bluff, reminding me of a couplet from Leonard Cohen’s Suzanne: “They are leaning out for love/ and they will lean that way forever.” If Cohen have been inspired by these trees instead of heroes in the seaweed and children in the morning he might have written. “They we leaning out for light/ and they will lean until they fall.” 

            The little dog and I skirt several sections of the trail made treacherous by erosion and find a steep path to the beach. There, fat flakes of snow collect in Aki’s grey curls as she stands on a rock the color of lava. The white noise of steady surf and the day’s flat light puts me at peace. Above our heads, old growth spruce lean out for light, they will lean that way until they fall.   

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