The Driveway at Braebirch - Generations 4 and 5
The wonderful thing about summer in Nova Scotia is that many folks return for part of the summer season at least. This year for us was a bit of a change as due to various interferences, my parents and siblings (and their assorted family members) couldn’t make it back here. For the last 60 plus years, we’ve been coming to Deerfield for the summer, and even though Norma and I live only 20 minutes away, Braebirch (Gaelic for pretty birch trees) calls to us.
The cottage there is almost 140 years old, probably built about 1880, and served as our base when I was growing up as a kid in the US and we’d come here in the summers. When I was a young teen, my family moved back to Canada, to the valley where Dad taught at Acadia University. All through those years we had the constant of coming to “the cottage”, so Deerfield holds a deep attachment to all of us.
This year, while many of the family didn’t make it to Deerfield, one change happened that is the sign of the times – our daughter Marsha and her family began to use Braebirch on their own as a family, having found Keji to be a less than idyllic spot on long weekends to try to get a peaceful nature experience. We all love Keji, but at Braebirch, we’re alone and among the birches and maples and evergreens along the shores of Hooper Lake, one can find a lot of nature and contentment.
The changes have come then. The cedar trees lining the drive are much bigger than when I could look over them as a child, the “Guest House” (an old barn) is gone and the tennis court is grown over for much of it with moss and doesn’t have a fence any more. But the lake is there, and so are the loons, the eagles and even the old raft. The canoes are ready when you need them, and when the morning sun rises over the lake, it’s quite easy to have a nature filled experience just by taking a quick paddle.
As generation 5 now enjoys Braebirch, it’s nice to see our grandson experiencing the same things his mother did, we did and my parents and grandparents did.
A special place.