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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.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Where I hang my heart

Yesterday was Gratitude Monday. Unfortunately it was also the final hurrah for the virus that has been clinging to me for dear life for the last week, so I was not up for my regular blog entry.  Tonight, having enjoyed a delicious home-cooked supper and some gluten free chocolate chip cookies still hot and soft from the oven, I am in much better shape for blogging :-).

The home-cooked meal, the cookies, and the heavenly bed I am lying in as I type this entry are all thanks to my good friends Ann and Stephen, who are, at this point, really more family than friends. It has been dawning on me lately that someone, somewhere in my extended family must have done something very, very right at some point, the effects on which are for some reason unknown to me manifesting themselves in my life in the form of exceptionally good fortune in the friend department. I am certain that Ann and Stephen will be simply thrilled that I have chosen this photo of us to post. Fortunately I am equally certain that they will forgive me by tomorrow morning -- it isn't in their genes to be irritated long.

Since returning to PEI a number of my friends have had me sleeping in their homes so much that it really is a miracle that they haven't had a restraining order taken out against me yet. The friends in the photo above are two such people. Although I did, for the record, move into an apartment a few weeks ago, when I came down with the virus that I have been fighting for the past ten days, Ann and Stephen suggested that I come stay at their place for a few days until I was feeling better. Little did they know that I would still be here five days later. Still.... after five days of good food, a cozy bed, hot baths and lots of hot tea and sleep, I am finally feeling a lot better, and am planning on moving back to my current home tomorrow afternoon.

As I was walking back to Ann and Stephen's house yesterday afternoon that old saying "home is where you hang your heart" came to mind, and I realized that Prince Edward Island is home because of the exceptional people living here who have opened their hearts and homes to me. And then I realized that in reality exceptional people are not exceptional here at all. Since returning to the island everyone I meet has been exceptional. Strangers help me out or offer a kind word on a regular basis. The public bus driver worries when I am not on the bus. People give me discounts or do not charge me knowing that I am living on a tight budget until I find full time work. People offer rides when I am tired. Friends turn up to walk with me when I take the dog that I am currently walking as a job for her daily walk when they can tell I am not feeling well. Friends invite me over to supper. Friends help me get to the doctor. Someone offers me paid work for the day at the farmer's market. Friends invite me into their homes to give me the chance to rest and heal when I am sick. I am surrounded by so many exceptionally kind and loving people that it has become the norm.

Many people have asked me why I moved back to Prince Edward Island after having left two years ago. Many of my friends do not really understand how I could choose this seemingly remote island in the north Atlantic over the sunshine state of California. I love islands because they are small and tightly knit. Everyone knows everyone else. Because there are so few people, every single person is important to the health and well being of the community. This means a greater degree of responsibility  on the one hand, but also a greater sense of mutual support and recognition of interconnectedness on the other. It should be this way everywhere, and some day I am sure it will be. For my part I am just grateful to know what it means to belong to a place and community. To want to be an active, responsible, engaged member of this island family. To love and know, without having to ask, that the love is coming right back at me. And to be certain in my core that I have a place and a valuable role to play on this vast and infinitely beautiful planet earth.

1 comment:

  1. Taking this concept a little further, we must not forget that the Earth itself is an island, an oasis providing the necessities of life, in the otherwise desert of outer space. We would have to travel several light years at least, before finding another place where we would have even the remotest chance of survival, other than in a space ship. The togetherness that has emerged in PEI is hopefully an example of the togetherness that the whole world can achieve.