Earls Cove Jervis Inlet Agamemnon Channel

say the names say the names

and listen to yourself

an echo in the mountains

(Al Purdy)

Where do the names go when we forget them? When we stop saying them? Not that Earls Cove will be forgotten exactly because it’s a ferry terminal; it’s where you wait for the small Island Sky to take you up Jervis Inlet to Powell River. Three cars on an Easter Sunday morning in the lot. When you arrived, you turned around to drive back a half a kilometer up the highway because there were elk feeding on the side of the road and you wanted to take a photograph of them. This photograph:

elk at earls cove

And when you opened the window to call, Where’s your mister? (because the elk travel in harems and you’ve never seen a group of cows without their bull), the middle one turned to you, as though agrieved, and you saw his small new antlers.

Earls Cove is named for a pioneer family who built this house looking out over Agamemnon Channel, out towards Nelson Island, and when you first moved to the Sechelt Peninsula, people lived in the house. Not the Earls but later pioneers. Then it was briefly a gallery, then an antiques shop where you once bought a linen table cloth and should have bought the Spode soup-plates and the silver sugar tongs which seemed entirely right in the small rooms with their view of the Channel and the ferry coming in. Where women came in marriage to live in these communities, bringing their family china and silver, and where a table might be set for loggers, visiting clergy, large families.It makes you sad to see the house abandoned, one of the upper windows broken, but a path still leading up to it, the path that might have brought a family to its generous rooms for Easter dinner.


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