After many long, long hours on the road, Sean and I had faced torrential rains, spooky, nonsensical midnight stop lights, sunburn, hunger, exhaustion and millions of mosquitoes, sandflies and blackflies. But at last, Sean and I reached our ultimate destination: Leaf Rapids, Manitoba, the near-ghost town on the edge of nowhere. What sort of anticipation Sean felt, I do not know. But I knew what I wanted: the sinkhole, and closure.
|Sean stands at the former location of 8 Churchill Place, now overrun by nature.|
But Sean and I found the sinkhole as inhospitable as the rest of the northern leg of our trip had been. Weather and wildlife conspired against us; instead of the idyllic, pastoral place I remembered, the sinkhole had been transformed into a suffocatingly humid nest of highly agitated and aggressive bugs. Within minutes, Sean and I were forced, gasping, back to the surface, able to endure the hordes for just long enough to snap a couple of photos. The white lights you see in these pictures were insects, illumintated by camera flash.
Was I disappointed? The child in me was. But I was happy, too, because I was there with my brother, and we laughed together and gazed at nature's wonders together. Maybe I couldn't find yesterday at the edge of nowhere, but I grasped today and held on tight and squeezed all the joy I could out of it.
|The remains of the Midi Mart, which I remember mainly for 1 cent Mojos and Wigwag candy bars.|
|The Acklands store that Dad set up and managed - the reason we moved from Thompson to Leaf Rapids.|
|Somewhere within, Sean was born.|