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Born in the US, raised on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, lived in Italy, the US, and Canada. Lover of language, travel, colour, and the natural world.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Island girl

As I sit and write this entry, the wind is howling around the house outside. I arrived on Prince Edward Island last night a little after midnight. You know when you were so excited about something as a child that you could not *wait* to get to whatever it was that you were so revved up about? That would have been me when I climbed down the stairs from the plane out onto the island last night, and made like a mad woman for the doors into the arrival area. My dear friends Paul and Alanna were there waiting for me...they had stayed up to come get me from the airport. We bundled into their car and came back to their home for hot tea and a long chat that kept us up into the early hours of the morning.

Last night I lay in bed and watched the sky through the windows--lit up by the brightness of winter. The wind blew and blew, and I lay awake for a long time thinking to myself how good it was to hear the power of the winter wind again.

Eventually I fell asleep, and woke this morning, got ready, and headed out with my dear friend Alanna to get breakfast at a local greasy spoon that was jam-packed with islanders. It was the perfect way to start the day. Alanna is one of those friends who I can talk to for hours and hours, and we somehow never run out of things to share. We share stories, thoughts, ideas, fears, dreams, and most of all lots and lots of laughter. I have been laughing all day long. Our breakfast lasted three hours. When we finally dragged ourselves out of the booth we had taken up residence in, we decided to head out to the house she recently bought in the country to have tea. It was a migrating conversation if you will! We bundled up and headed outside into the icy wind, hobbling across the icy patches of the parking lot and jumping into the car, all giggles and joy. There is something about truly freezing weather that you just have to laugh about. Today it was -18 windchill, which, if you live in California, is bloody cold, but not nearly as cold as it can get here in the middle of winter.

We headed out to her home in the country. The road had ice and snow all along it, so we drove slowly, giddy with the excitement of the day and with our little escape from the reality of the world for a full day. We finally reached the turning for the house, turned in past the little mailbox, and drove up the dirt driveway to the house. The home she and her husband just bought is a rather old house, and has all the charm of a small, storybook house out in the country. It has a barn and a few tiny cottage-like buildings on the property, wood floors, lots of windows that look out across the fields to the west, and a wood-burning stove. Alanna immediately got to work stoking the stove, and got a fire going while I made tea. We brought two chairs in front of the stove and sat down to our steaming mugs of sweet almond tea. The sky through the windows that stretched along the whole western wall stretched out in bands of rose and violet. The earth was dark with shadow and dampness. Reeds outside the window rustled hollowly against the panes of glass. It was so peaceful. Alanna and I talked and laughed, sipped our tea, and warmed our hands by the heat of the fire. It was such a magical evening. As the last light was fading we decided it was time to head back to town to get some groceries and then go back to her house where I had promised to cook Alanna and Paul a hot, belly-filling supper.

I cooked pasta with mushroom red sauce sprinkled with cheese, and salad. It was a simple but hearty meal-- the kind of meal that is perfect on a cold night in December. The company was excellent. The wind howled outside. After supper I made tea, and we sat around the table getting caught up on work that each of us needed to get done. Now I am sitting here alone. Alanna and Paul have headed to bed. The wind is still howling. I find it calming in a familiar sort of way. The sound of an old friend whispering a poem I have heard many times--one that slows my heartbeat and assures me that everything--everything is exactly as it should be in this moment. Such is the song of the PEI wind.

I never thought I would say that I am happy to be home about this island, but that is how I feel. The muscle-relaxing peacefulness even in frigid temperatures, the laughter that has been playing upon my lips all day, and the sense that some sense of rightness has been restored in my world. I am home, and whether it is for an extended stay or a short visit, it feels really, really good, friends!

Wherever you are, I hope you are having a night rich with dreams, wrapped with the sounds of winter, and that joy is bubbling up plentiful in your chest!

1 comment:

  1. Welcome home Ariana. What beautiful writing!
    May the blessings of wind, island winter and reunions with dear friends fill you with endless laughter. May you continue to feel enrapt in its familiar arms through new year's and the next few weeks.