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There’s a little patch of Elysium on the Nova Scotia South Shore, called Mahone Bay. The famous Oak Island sits within the larger bay, and further along is the town of Mahone Bay, population 800, maybe 900. In summer, it’s a tourist trap, and it has lots of shops, restaurants, pubs and the like. In the placid waters of the bay, pictured above, there aren’t only sailboats bobbing on the tide, but little floating houseboats – sort of like aquatic cottages. Folks sit in lawn chairs on their little floating porches.

This is what sunset looks like at the end of a clear summer day. These were taken with an iPhone, and haven’t been retouched or tweaked in any way:


That’s just what it looks like.

Here’s how it looks at daybreak:


I’m Nova Scotian born and bred, and it was common in summer to drive down the coast from Halifax and visit the town. Whenever I went, I’d have to suppress hopeful thoughts that one day, if I ever had the means, I might end up living there. Put it out of your mind, son. Won’t happen. Your luck doesn’t break that way.

Except it does, once in a while.

This is where I’m going to spend summers with my wife, in a unit we bought for a shockingly small amount in this building, which used to be a shop for building boats, back when:


Years ago, sensitive to how much I missed the ocean up here in Toronto, and knowing that I literally dreamed about living by the water, my wife bought me a coffee table book titled A Home by the Sea. I’d flip the pages and whimper a bit. Put it out of your mind, son. Remember, it’s the hope that kills you.

Or, sometimes, pushes you to grab on to a dream or two. Now, somehow, I own a foothold in Elysium.

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