Alderney Landing, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, August 1, 2008
I think it best I leap to where I am geographically and mentally for the most part, here in Nova Scotia. I have family and memories sprinkled around the Northern Hemisphere. It wasn't always so. I have some of my earliest memories as a kid in Halifax. It was after grade one when my father was posted back to Victoria, BC as part of his naval career.
I was really moved by the farewell I received from my little friends and neighbours. Deep down I knew that I would be back one day, I just had no idea when it would be. I think it was near three decades later but here I am.
In 2008, back for over a year I was still networking and picking up the odd photo gig, a wedding, a graduation, a small start-up publication. Most gigs paid and some were a little slippery but no matter, my life back in Canada, back in the Maritimes was moving forward. I covered a number of events one weekend in August as a favour for a friend.
One of the events was a concert at Alderney Landing in Dartmouth, I had heard mention of a Joel Plaskett before but only heard a few songs prior to the show. It was while snapping away, trying to get the shot that would convey what it was like to be there, maybe what it felt like. I've certainly gotten better at this but that show in particular had an effect on me.
The band were tight and Joel had something that really engaged the crowd but for me there was something that really made me feel connected to this place again. I hadn't felt it in decades and it sent a shiver up my spine. By the end of the show I felt like I had been converted to a local, the "from away" label slid off of me for several hours and I was, still am excited to be here.
Sure, I've been to places that excite me, I have a life on the other side of the planet, two wonderful daughters who are healthy and happy. They reach out, thankfully the technology has improved and we can have close mental ties despite the thousands of miles that separate us. It's complicated but they are gradually understanding pieces of my life outside of Japan.
A fun moment during a trip back to Japan was playing them some Joel Plaskett and answering their questions about Nova Scotia or "Canada" as they call it. There are times when I don't hear much from them but a week ago my eldest wrote an instant message, in English no less. "I want to come to Canada." She wants to meet her little half sister and she wants to hold her as soon as possible, Papa make it happen.
It is going to take a lot of hard work to get those plane tickets and details arranged, I don't know how soon it will be but dammit a summer concert at Alderney Landing could be just the right magical moment all over again.