One Walkabout: CFB Picton

Having my cousin Peter in my life again has led me to do some wandering about the old bones of our shared history.  Canadian military bases have some common structures and stories and a life lived for two years on one base translates quickly to a life lived on the next base and so on through an accumulated history.

In winter,  one RCAF (later CAF) hangar was transformed into a sports complex/skating rink where brothers were raised on hockey and sisters on figure skating.  It was nothing to head out the door on a Saturday morning and not return until the afternoon, as the winter light was fading…cold toes by the time we got home for supper.  We had a Rec Center, library, typically a Base Exchange, post office and movie theater where we watched B movies and bad science fiction.  But it was all so magical in so many ways.

Apart from these buildings were all of those buildings/structures designed and functioning around the work that our fathers did.  This work always held some mystery and sitting here writing while my father sleeps in the next room, I get a lump in my throat thinking about the peace time years that my father served Canada.  Peter feels the same way about his Dad.

One afternoon, some weeks ago, my Aunt treated Dad and I to lunch and afterwards, we drove up to CFB Picton, a place on my list of places to explore.  I was astonished by the condition of the structures after seventy years and I had, more than once, chills, as I walked along the abandoned roads.

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Photo Credit: Kathleen Moors ©

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Photo Credit: Kathleen Moors ©

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Photo Credit: Kathleen Moors ©

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Photo Credit: Kathleen Moors ©

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Photo Credit: Kathleen Moors ©

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Photo Credit: Kathleen Moors ©

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Photo Credit: Kathleen Moors ©

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Photo Credit: Kathleen Moors ©

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Photo Credit: Kathleen Moors ©

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Photo Credit: Kathleen Moors ©

Photo Credit: Kathleen Moors ©

Photo Credit: Kathleen Moors ©

One Voice

Trying to Find My Bird Movie 129I spent four weeks tracking a warbler every morning and afternoon…trying to get close enough to identify the little guy.  And for all of that time, he rarely stopped singing.  When I return home, I will publish the song archive that I collected and perhaps one of you will help me to identify him. For all of those days, this small bird distracted me from a sad heart and filled the empty space once filled with my mother’s laughter, with a song.

Because I was so intent to listen to this single bird voice, I could hear the voices of others; chickadees, cardinals, blue jays and black birds, voices woven through the old Belleville trees. The transforming landscape, full bloom of maple, elm and willow, caused the red flash of cardinal to stand out against countless shades of green.  But more magnificent for me, each morning when the dew was still wet on the grass, was the little bird perched on the highest single finger of a blue spruce tree, seeking a mate…no answer to its determined voice.