Ebb and Flow

Image at Dusk
Lambert Channel from Hornby Island – Photo by John McLachlan

From the album Call It Home (2016)

I’m not a big believer in mystical meanings to life. I tend to think we live—quite by chance—and then we die. Here today, gone tomorrow. But, I do get a sense of the past and the future and where my little place in it all sits. Though I don’t literally think the spirits of people who once lived on Hornby Island actually inhabit this place, I do think their presence in my mind and heart play a part in how I experience life today.

Maybe I feel a bit like James Joyce when he describes how Gabriel feels at the end of “The Dead”:

“His soul had approached that region where dwell the vast hosts of the dead. He was conscious of, but could not apprehend, their wayward and flickering existence. His own identity was fading out into a grey impalpable world: the solid world itself which these dead had one time reared and lived in was dissolving and dwindling.”

For almost my entire life I’ve spent time on this little island. An entire life can seem like a long time but of course, it’s not. When my grandmother was 99 years old, she said “It’s all over so fast.” It brings me to today, right now, and how important it is to get on with life in this amazing place until it’s time to go. Heck, the cemetery here is a bargain (except you can’t reserve) and I’d like to think this is where my “final end” will be, but until then, time to enjoy.

Ebb and Flow

I came here in ’62
A little boy just turning two
Runnin’ round in yellow grass
Knowin’ not the years would pass

The dance of life, the dance of time
Kicking up heels, everything rhymes
Sun shines, you make your hay
Everyone will have their day

Living in the ebb and flow
Vibrant life, all on the go
Riding down time’s arrow
Moving with the ebb and flow

And it all seemed so effortless then
Being alive in the morning wind
And it all felt so endless and fine
Being alive in this life of mine

Little island in the blue
You’ve been my world, always in view
In this place I hold so dear
I’m gonna live and die right here

People come and people go
Hilary and Hal, Albert and Leo
While they were here, they had their fun
I’ll do the same till I am done


© John McLachlan (SOCAN)

John and Robert McLachlan on Shingle Spit in 1964 - Photo by George McLachlan
John and Robert McLachlan on Shingle Spit in 1964 – Photo by George McLachlan