This story starts in Baddeck and ends in the Valley.
Last week we stopped at the Alexander Graham Bell museum. I wanted to catch up on the work of the Bras d’Or Lake Biosphere Reserve Association (BLBRA). At the gift shop, I was able to pick up a CD copy of the TVO documentary series ‘Exploring Canada’s Biosphere Reserves’. It covers eight biosphere reserves and is narrated by Jim Cuddy. One of the Biosphere Reserves is Bras d’Or Lake striking balance.
Within the pavilion at the Historic Site, BLBRA have a display. One of the brochures describes the dream of ‘Walking Around the Bras d’Or’.
” The Mi’kmaq have lived here for thousands of years. The influence of the five communities in the Biosphere is what makes dreaming about ‘Awki’j’ (trail) even more vital.
” The concept of ‘two-eyed’ seeing links Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal thinking. One eye learns using indigenous knowledge and the other eye learns using mainstream knowledge. They see together.
” Think of the history, the culture and the ecosystem while walking the trail using two eyes.”
While in Iona at the Highland Village, I happened to pick up a copy of Charlotte Gray’s book, “Reluctant Genius. The passionate life and inventive mind of Alexander Graham Bell.”
Chapter 14 describes ‘A Shifting Balance’ and by Chapter 16 ‘Escape to Cape Breton’. I have still to read the Cape Breton years at Beinn Bhreagh (Beautiful Mountain).
“He would stand on Beinn Bhreagh, taking great gulps of Cape Breton air and letting his gaze skim down the ten-mile length of St Andrew’s Channel to Grand Narrows. The frustrations and worries that haunted his Washington life fell away.” p.295.
On returning to the valley, I had the opportunity to read a review of ‘Wines of Nova Scotia’. The map was created by cartographer, Marcel Morin from Lost Art Cartography for the Wine Association of Nova Scotia. Morin talks about the art of Cartography and the new technology. The message, for me, was the need to ‘Strike a balance’. I did manage to pick up a copy of the map at Grand Pre Wineries.
One final story from the Cape Breton road trip. We stopped at Wildfire Pottery and Books ( I could not resist the ‘and Books”). The owner, Paul, showed me a copy of The Fiddle Tree by Otis Tomas (including the CD). Tomas makes musical instruments. The book describes a specific tree, the process of curing the wood, the design and making of the instruments. The CD includes music written by the author, played by musicians on the instruments made by Tomas from the Fiddle Tree: a remarkable symbiotic relationship between nature and culture