Written By: Thursday, November 30th 2017

There’s a beautiful piece of driftwood on the stretch of beach I often walk.

We’re a couple streets back from the water but it’s pretty easy to walk from one concession to the next along the shore. In one spot, for as long as I’ve been walking this stretch there’s been a stripped tree.

The best part about it, since it’s been there for so long, is to see how it changes every year. The first year I lived here it was submerged parallel at the shore line: a great spot to sit in summer and keep your feet in the water. That winter the ice pushed it back perpendicular from the shore, but close enough that the waves were able to form awesome icicles.

Two summers later it had migrated way back from the shore and was parallel again making it a great climbing spot.

This summer I was devastated to see some jerk had chainsawed it in two.

I imagined this taking place under the cover of darkness. I assumed it was so they could later remove it and keep the root for a landscape structure and the trunk for either a fence or a bench.

I know there’s always been a debate about who exactly ‘owns’ access to the waterfront in our area. But this driftwood actually did fall in a place where there isn’t really any debate as to who owns it.

It was a communal spot. A lot of cottages are right on the water, but this particular scrap of beach was at the end of a sandy parkette designed to allow 10 different cottages all to have twenty degrees of backyard waterfront view and a short walk to the water. There’s never been any problem with families setting up on this sand beach because there’s no driving access to it and anyone there has had to trek all their gear by foot.

I kept dreading the day I’d come around the corner to find the driftwood gone – trucked off in the middle of the night with nothing by ATV tracks left in the sand. So I was ecstatic to come upon it this fall like this…..

This might seem a petty solution but I LOVED IT!!

I love knowing someone else felt the exact same way about the lovely piece of driftwood in a communal spot. They too didn’t want it carted off in the middle of the night to private property and they managed to prevent it in a very VISUAL way that says “Oh no you don’t!” I just love that scrappiness and I like looking at the 10 cotttages backing onto the water and wondering which one housed a cottager just as petty as I who marched down here in solidarity with a cordless drill and brackets.

Like someone’s scar after a difficult recovery, I love the story this tree now gets to tell to all beach wanders just by being visible.

It says “I belong here. Just TRY and remove me” 😉