A Day at the Beach

I love Dominion Beach.

It’s not one of the world’s greatest beaches with endless, white (or even red) sand but it’s mine. I have often walked or jogged along the shore or the boardwalk, which has been built and rebuilt over the years after the waves have washed it away, usually during a late-winter storm.



The waves here are serious – besides destroying sections of the boardwalk, they’ve broken ships and beached whales. I’ve heard rumors of a storm that left casks of Jamaican rum on the beach and another that carried the hotel away.

The last boardwalk-damaging storm was in 2020, but nobody really noticed, because well, COVID.

I noticed because the beach was one of the few places I could actually go during the pandemic; as long as you were masked and kept your distance from anyone who was there (and there was hardly anyone there), it was not a problem.

That said, I’ll be happier when the weather gets warmer, even on a sunny, spring day, the ocean winds are quite cold. A balmy 3 degrees Celsius feels more like -8.


Still, if you can brave the wind, you never know what you might find at Dominion Beach. Here’s what I discovered the last time I was there:

Photo by Don Clarke

It alone was worth the trip. I think often of the tragedy unfolding in Ukraine but have little opportunity to talk about it. I think about how life can be: one minute, things are fine; then suddenly they’re not. The people of Ukraine are experiencing this now in terrible ways and it was great to see this show of support here in my own little corner of the world, this little beach. I’m glad I saw it before the waves washed it away.

I grabbed a bench overlooking a marsh and hoped to see a heron or an egret. They’re majestic creatures, mostly white with long legs and a long beak. It’s rare to see one, but I have and it is a wonderful sight although, full disclosure, I am never entirely sure whether I’m looking at a heron or an egret. I’m on safer ground with the ducks and the herring gulls – and the crows, who seemed to be enjoying the wind.


A trip to the beach can always be the highlight of my day, especially when it’s not too crowded. There is rarely a lot happening there, unless it’s summer and there’s a scheduled event, but you can stroll (or jog) along it or find a big flat rock to stand on and take in some fresh ocean air with Tai Chi breathing. (That’s my jam, you can breathe however you like.)

That’s what I did last time. I stood on a flat rock, sipping the sweet ocean air, trying to remember my Tai Chi breathing, or any of the Kung Fu I learned (like, a decade ago, from a visiting instructor) or my yoga breathing (I have taken one class).

Crows, Dominion Beach

Photo by Don Clarke

And yes, I realize breathing is just the warm-up, but I did walk! And maybe I’ll go for that run tomorrow. Or three weeks from now. Okay, the time is TBD but the destination is certain: here, this wonderful beach.



Donald Clarke

A “military brat,” Don Clarke finally put down roots in Dominion, Cape Breton. A graduate of CBU (Communication) and NSCC (Business Administration), he has been active in the local theatrical community for years, having performed and directed at the Boardmore Playhouse and Two Hoots Productions. He has worked in film and television, directed a Canadian Short Film and published poetry in Caper’s Aweigh, Poetry.com and The Caper Times, where he also served as editor.