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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.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Springtime on the island

It has been too long since I last wrote. Way. Too. Long. It is one thing to write when writing is all you are doing really. It is another thing to learn how to balance writing with the rest of life's responsibilities. Today started off drizzly. Grey. Moist air dampened my coat as I walked downtown this morning. But by this afternoon, after a long day of work, the sun had come out and the sky was that lovely clear blue vault that you dream of in the heart of winter. A friend came to meet me after work and we went and sat on a bench in the sunshine and talked. Above us a tree still bare of leaves was covered with the first swollen nodes of buds. We sat there for about an hour. Recounting our days. Laughing. Wishing out loud that our favourite Asian restaurant was open as it would have been the perfect way to end the day. Sharing our struggles. Closing our eyes and turning our faces up to the sun to soak up its golden rays. Contemplating going to a movie that it turned out was no longer showing. And just sitting silently. Eventually the wind started cooling off so we collected our many bags and started off for home, taking the Confederation trail so we could enjoy birdcall instead of exhaust fumes, and then climbing up over the green grassy hill of the Experimental Farm, skirting the lily pond to see whether the lilies have begun blossoming (they haven't), and finally parting ways as my friend settled in for a relaxing evening at home and I continued my walk home along the long, cracked pavement, past That's Entertainment video store, past the funeral home, past the house with the long driveway shrouded with trees, past the pharmacy, the five way intersection, the gas station, the other gas station and the fire station. Punching in the door code to the apartment building I am currently living in, I climbed the stairs feeling heavy and tired, dropped my stuff on the kitchen floor, and cooked supper in the warm sunlight that was pouring in the living room window and making white light dance across the ceiling in geometric shapes. I sat and ate supper on the only kitchen stood in the house and listened to my house mate Minnie (who is in her 80s) tell me stories of when there were no roads or snow plows. When it took all day to drive the horse-drawn buggy the 15 mile journey to the nearest town (Montague) for supplies. How children did not go to school in the Spring or Fall because the unpaved clay roads would turn to mud that was impassable. I thought: I would have liked to live at a time when there were no cars and we got from place to place by horse. I shared this thought with Minnie, thinking she would shake her head and tell me that it wasn't nearly as romantic as I imagine it to be. She doesn't -- only smiles and nods -- agreeing that it was a magical way to get around despite taking so much longer. She tells me about planting potatoes by hand, leaving a row in between for the soil to be turned back over the parallel row, keep the potatoes from getting sunburn. Buckets, she says. We did not have baskets. Just buckets. Ten acres with a bucket. Can you imagine? she asks me. It took forever. I can imagine. Being dog tired at the end of the day, dragging yourself inside for a short, exhausted but contented sleep before getting up to do it all again.

Minnie is asleep now. I can hear her breathing in the next room. Outside the sky is crisp and clear, the stars are bright. I am looking forward to my book. To sleep. To getting up and doing it all over again.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Blogger, I can relate to doing it all again, including the swollen buds, the warm sun's rays, the blue vault. Thank God for it all, as the broken asphalt and the gas stations, etc., are a part of it too. This piece would do well in the local paper, as a reminder that it is a VERY good thing you also HAVE the Confederation Trail, the grassy hill, lily pond, and experimental farm right there in the middle of it all. Never let it go!