A flip thru my old posts….recreating magic. Something to be grateful for in the present unmagical settings. Kahlil Gibran words resonate when going through the post. ‘The appearance of things change according to the emotions, and thus we see magic and beauty in them, while the magic and beauty are really in ourselves’.
A continuous stare, five minutes, at the snapshot of three main Rock formations, and my initial reaction is one of jaw-dropping incredulity. I swear, no profanities, the ‘nose’ twitched, similar to ‘live’ shot by iPhone 7s. The reaction was in response to Mi’kmaq (First Nation) esoteric explanation of the Hopewell or Flower Pot Rocks. To them the Rocks were slaves turned into stone by angry whales, one time residents of Bay of Fundy. The slaves were fleeing their captors but before they could reach the beach the whales turned them into rock formations. In our Hindu mythology, The Ramayana, there is an instance when Ram touches a ‘stone’ and it turns into ‘Ahalya’, a woman cursed into ‘stone’ by her husband for infidelity. ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahalya). I was no ‘Ram’ and could only admire the giant rocks. The present tags , ‘Mother-In –Law’ (stern countenance), ET (probably for alien appearance), the mundane Dinosaur Rock, the lumpy ‘Elephant rock’ (that had split into half in March 2016) add to the continuing mystique of the rocks.
The Bay of Fundy, one of the seven Natural Wonders of North America, was the last stop of our eight-day Eastern Canada drive-a-thon traversing Acadian nature presentations of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick. The 2kms./1.25 miles Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick is situated between the Canadian provinces with a portion touching Maine (USA). The name is a corruption of the French word Fendu meaning split and these dark sedimentary brooding marvels, Hopewell or Flower Pot Rocks, are the result of nearly 300 million years of battle between water and land. l
The Mi’kmaq legend weaves magic and romance around the phenomenon of fluctuating tides. The legend goes that Gloosecap, a deity who lived with the Mi’kmaq in human form, decided to take bath and seeing no water in the Bay of Fundy summoned a beaver to get some water. The beaver dug a trench and water from ocean filled in. Just as Glooscap sat down, in the water, a whale stuck his head into the entrance of the Bay. When Glooscap got up to leave the whale swam away. This produced the high tides which rush in and out of the bay daily.tha
Another interesting story about the Rocks goes back to the period before the arrival of the Europeans. The powerful and wise men of the Mí’kmaq tribe would gather annually during the fall natural harvest. These men, called Ginaps, would travel to the place of their ‘cooking pots’ guided by six-foot high carved poles or waa geige. The Ginaps would prepare the feast in their large ‘cooking pots’ for Míkmaq men, women and children who travelled long distances for feasting, dancing, singing and spiritual ceremonies. This annual gathering carried on for centuries till arrival of European missionaries. The missionaries convinced the people to take down the carved guiding poles with the plea that if the poles remained standing their enemies from the west would find them. With the pulling out of the sign poles and with declining Ginaps, the gatherings at the cooking pots ceased and the big pots turned to stone. We can still see them today as the Hopewell or Flowerpot Rocks. To the Míkmaq the site remains a special place to meditate and to pray, especially if there was shortage of food among the people. https://www.albertcountymuseum.com/the-mkmaq/
From here steps scroll down to the beach towards the ‘Flower Pots’ for the much awaited walking tour of the ocean floor. We did not encounter giant whales, blocking the water, but tourists poking around the weeds, hunting for fossils, semi precious stones, sea glass, pebbles, selfie-ing alongside eroded cliffs, trying to extract maximum advantage before the waters rushed in at the speed of 10 meters per minute.
An hour spent discovering the nooks and crannies, admiring the ‘water-art’ and playing peek-a-boo between the rocks with my sixteen-month old grand-daughter and we were back at the Interpretative Center for lunch before we were shoo-ed off. Visitors are advised to leave the floor three hours before expected tides.
The return: At stipulated time the waters start encroaching and within minutes the rock bases disappear transforming into a sea-land. This is the time for the kayaks to glide out, activity for the adventurous, but unfortunately it was drizzling and we missed out on the photo-op. A five-year old girl, standing alongside me, insisted on calling it ‘magic’ while her mother tried explaining the technicalities of the phenomenon. I don’t blame the kid as does look an act of magic.
Next morning we were tempted to take one last look at the ‘flower-pots’ but had to turn the car towards Halifax to catch return flight to Toronto.
* Fundy National Park: Located on Bay of Fundy near Alma, New Brunswick covering 207 km along Goose Bay. Rugged coastline, highest tides, hiking trails, golf courses, camping areas, winter sports are some of the activities
* The time span between low and high tide is 6 hours and 13 minutes. This allows one to walk the ocean floor 3 hours before low tide and 3 hours after.
*The entrance fee for Hopewell Rocks is valid for two consecutive days. This means one can return at any time during that period to see both high and low tides.
*Hopewell Rocks Interpretative Center offers Educational multi-media exhibits, High Tide Café and outside deck, Tidal Treasures Gift Shop and Tourist information services.
*Glooscap First Nation is a Canadian Mi’kmaq aboriginal community
Attractions and activities: walk, bike, hike, or drive on the 12 mile Fundy Trail along the coast. The 6,300-acre park offers over 20 lookouts, waterfalls, a suspension bridge and 600-million-year-old rock formations. The Fundy Trail is 35 miles from the City of Saint John and close to the village of St. Martins.