Skip to content

Caught between a rock and soft place

Somewhere in Steveston, Kim and Billy are probably not together right now.

Somewhere in Steveston, Kim and Billy are probably not together right now. But Billy still longs for Kim; the plastic-wrapped rose he laid under the big rock at the end of Garry Point Park wilted weeks ago, and a few days ago he piled a few daffodils on top of the rose. On the weekend, Billy added some crocus blossoms, untimely ripped from their damp and sandy beds.

Kim and Billy spray-painted "FOR YOU Kim xo Billy xo ALWAYS" in violent red letters on the rock just before Valentine's Day.

Of course, they couldn't know that I had claimed that rock as my very own more than a

decade ago. It is my favourite place from which to watch languorous orange-dappled sunsets.

It is where I stop to check the wind direction; northwesterly for good weather; southeasterly for rain. It is one of the few places where I simply stop.

No talk, no noisy gravel under my shoes, no swishing nylon sleeves against a nylon jacket.

In the quiet, I listen to the snow geese humming in the marshes to the north. Above, an

occasional prop engine grutgrut-grutters to the airport. The tide slurps against the shore, swirling against the river current.

Sometimes, far to the south, a sleek, white BC Ferry slides toward Nanaimo against a backdrop of grey-hued islands.

Once a whole family of seals cavorted in the slough in front of me. This weekend's gift was three blue herons roosting on the little island across from my rock.

Kim and Billy don't know they have defiled my sacred rock in an attempt to create their own sacred place.

That rock is the place where I stop and think of my children and wish them well. It is the place I kiss my sweetheart before we turn around and stroll back home through the village.

A few years ago, another spray-painter defiled a different rock in Garry Point Park; one closer to the little lighthouse.

I grumbled about the ugliness less and less as wind and rain wore the paint off. Kim and Billy's spray-paint will wear off too, and all the while I will be watching for Billy's little bouquets under the rock.

But I won't linger on the message. The horizon beckons, and flocks of snow geese, and a thousand sunsets.

And I wish Kim and Billy well.