Kincardine Parade By Loreen
If you drive
along Highway 21, sometimes called the
Blue Water Highway because it runs parallel
to Lake Huron, you may come to a sign
which says: KINCARDINE: Population 6000,
where youre a stranger only once.
youre a stranger only once.
How true this
is. I have been spending my vacation
in Kincardine every year now for the
past ten years. I was a stranger the
first time I came to this lovely town
in 1986, but with every visit since,
I feel that I am among friends.
a tourist town, but it is devoid of
the glitz and glitter of so many tourist
towns. The people are warm and friendly,
the atmosphere homey.
The beach along
Lake Huron is dotted with cottages.
White-capped waves roll in, sobbing,
laughing, sometimes like thunderous
applause, sometimes like gentle, wayward
children returning home. The waters
change from the deepest blue to the
palest green. Gulls glide overhead,
little beach birds run along the beach
on spindly legs.
We swim, letting
the waves carry us along. We rest and
allow our souls to absorb the peace.
But all too
soon its Saturday, the last day
of our holiday. A lump comes to my throat,
but I smile through my tears. Already
Im dreaming of next year.
its the night of the Kincardine
parade. Every Saturday night during
the summer months the main street is
closed off, and at promptly 8 oclock,
the parade begins.
I stand on the
sidewalk with my children and grandchildren
waiting for the parade to begin. The
tension and excitement mounts. We can
hardly contain ourselves. Then, at last,
we hear the sound of the bag-pipes.
We look toward
the park. Here they come. They wear
kilts in the tartans of their clans.
The whole Scottish regalia is displayed.
They turn the corner of the main street.
The Band members of the Kincardine parade,
playing the bag-pipes, march to the
tune of My Bonnie Lassie.
Most of the
crowd lining the sidewalk fall in behind:
little children on their fathers
shoulders, men and women, boys and girls
of all shapes and sizes, dogs of every
description. We all walk behind the
band. We are the parade.
My oldest grandson,
Christopher, age 15, walks ahead of
me with his mother. I notice their similarities.
The same loping gait, the same easy
smile. I walk with Kayle, age 11 on
one side and Joshua, age 8 on the other.
We hold hands and swing them back and
forth in time to the music as we saunter
Bobby, age seventeen
months, is too small to walk in the
parade. He rides on his fathers
shoulders. He grins hugely showing all
of his eight teeth. He wags his head
from side to side and claps his small
hands as the band plays The Campbells
We march up
the street to the end of town, then
turning, we follow the band back to
the park where they continue to play
for our pleasure.
Their last selection
is Amazing Grace. The beautiful melody
sweeps over us as the sun sets below
the horizon across Lake Huron.
The sky on the
edge of the lake is filled with a myriad
of golden lights. They dance in joyous
celebration, a dance of praise and glory.
My heart exults.
For one brief moment, in a whisper of
time, I reach out and touch the face