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Grand Manan

There is a place that has stuck with me for more than 20 years. Not once have I been able to return there, but I see it in my head as clearly as any spot in my world. It is an island off an island. Along its shore sits an abandoned lighthouse slowly falling into ruin, shingles beaten grey by the howling Atlantic winds, the smothering Fundy fog, the salt spray and the endless, unrelenting neglect of the years. I always wanted to go across the bay to that island, but it never happened. So I just sat on the back deck of my friend's place drinking cups of tea and gazing across the chop of waves to the island. I don't even know what it was called.

This is really not a story of an island or a lighthouse, but that lighthouse seems forever linked in my mind with my friend. If it were not for her, I probably would never have seen it. Perhaps I would never have taken the rough little ferry across from Blacks Harbour to North Head, but because I knew a girl from Grand Manan, I had a reas…

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