Windflower would get to go back to Grand Bank himself this weekend to
join his family and hopefully see old friends for the first time in what seemed
like forever. That cheered him, despite his tiredness as he pulled into the
driveway of his rented house on Forest Road. He had a long, cool shower and put
on his shorts and tee-shirt to enjoy a beer and the last of this fine summer day.
He sat on the back deck and popped the top off his Quidi Vidi Honey
Brown Ale, one of his local favourites. He called Sheila to see how she was
faring in Grand Bank.
“Hi, Winston. I’m doing grand, thank you. Although the fog is rolling in
from Saint-Pierre. That’ll cool things down pretty good. Uncle Frank is coming
over for supper.”
“How’s he doing?” said Windflower. “He must be bored out of his mind
with the B&B shut down.”
“You know Frank,” said Sheila. “He’s always got something to do. As far
as the B&B goes, I guess it’s a write-off this year. Levi is okay. He’s
getting the employment benefits, but even if they say we can open, there are no
“I guess it’s hard on anybody that depends on tourism,” said Windflower.
“But everybody here is safe and well. That’s what really counts,” said
Sheila. “When are you coming down?”
“I thought I’d leave first thing Friday morning,” said Windflower. “I’ll
be there by lunchtime, and I’m going to take Monday, too.”
“Excellent,” said Sheila. “The girls miss you terribly. Me, too.”
“I miss you guys a lot,” said Windflower. “I’ll call later to say
Windflower hung up and drained his beer. He thought about another but
didn’t want to get into another bad habit. One he was already trying to break was
eating take-out. When you were by yourself, it wasn’t as much fun to cook
alone. He wasn’t walking as much either. Sheila had taken his collie, Lady,
with her to Grand Bank. But he missed her companionship, and she was always
ready for a walk. Come to think of it, he even missed Molly, the cat.
He and Molly had a love-hate relationship. She demanded love and she
hated him. Well, hate was a strong word. But she didn’t like him, and if he was
really honest, he was afraid of her. Despite all of that, he missed them all.
Sheila, the kids, the animals and the eternal chaos that surrounded all of
them. It was his life, and he really missed them.
To cheer himself up, he made a plan to have a steak for supper. And so
he wouldn’t be too lonely, he called his neighbour and new friend, Wilf
Pittman. Wilf was a widower who had helped Windflower with numerous projects
around the house and had become a surrogate grandfather to his girls, both of
whom adored him. That was especially true of Stella, who’d had a hard life so
far and who clung to Wilf Pittman as one of her anchors. He was happy to love
them both in return and to be part of the extended Windflower family.
Wilf had already eaten, but he was happy to come over for a visit. He
was there in a couple of minutes.
“You get used to eating early when you’re by yourself,” said Wilf. “But
I love the smell of barbeque.”
Wilf and Windflower chatted while he cooked his steak and continued
while Windflower ate his dinner. Windflower made a pot of tea and cut the last
of a cherry pie into two pieces as they went back out on the deck to enjoy the
Later, Windflower walked Wilf home and continued his walk alongside
Quidi Vidi Lake, walking to the bottom of the lake and circling back. He
watched TV for a little while when he got home and read until bedtime. He
called Sheila to say goodnight and drifted off to sleep.
His peaceful repose was disturbed when he woke up in a dream. Windflower
knew it was a dream because when he felt himself stir, he looked down at his
hands. That was one trick his Auntie Marie and Uncle Frank, master dream
weavers, had taught him. “Look for your hands,” Uncle Frank had said. “Then
you’ll know you’re in the dreamworld and you will be able to understand more of
what’s going on.”
Auntie Marie, his most dear and cherished family member, had passed not
long ago, but before she left, she had taught Windflower many things about
dreaming and how to interpret his own dreams and those of others. Windflower
was a Cree from Northern Alberta, and while his family was known for its
dream-weaving abilities, it was not a common thing among his people. Most knew
and believed in a spirit world, but few had mastered the art of dream weaving.
Uncle Frank had tutored Windflower, along with his wife, and while Auntie
Marie was the true master, his uncle had a lot of skills in this area that
Windflower took advantage of too. After Auntie Marie’s death, Uncle Frank had
decided to move to Newfoundland and stay in Grand Bank. He would look after the
beautifully restored B&B that Sheila and Windflower had brought back to
life. Unfortunately, the pandemic put a cold, wet blanket on those plans.
As he thought about his uncle and aunt with fond memories, Windflower’s
dream became more vivid. He found himself in a small boat, a fishing dory, at
sea. He could see nothing but water in all directions. Then he felt the boat
being lifted into the air. At first, he thought the boat would rise and lift
off into the sky. But just as quickly as it rose, the boat fell down again.
Then it was lifted up again. Then lay gently down on the water.
When Windflower looked around and underneath his boat, all he could see
was a mass of black in the water. Then a giant eye appeared. Windflower
realized it was a whale. The whale blinked. Did that whale just wink at me?
Windflower didn’t have much more time to think because he could feel the whale
diving below the boat, and he and the vessel were being sucked underneath with
it. Just as he thought he would surely drown, he woke up.
He shook himself awake and went to the bathroom. That was strange, he
thought. I wonder what that was all about. Because dreams were always about
something. Maybe he could talk to Uncle Frank about it when he saw him on the
weekend. That was as much as he could do for the night, so he turned off the
lights and went back to sleep. He must have been tired, because he didn’t wake
until his alarm went off in the morning.