About Me

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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, June 18, 2012

Apricots taste like sunshine

This evening is a list kind of evening, if you know what I mean. But it is also a gratitude Monday, so here's what I am feeling grateful for today. Add your list below if you feel like sharing!

1. The fact that I am currently lying on my bed barefoot with a lovely breeze blowing over me after a lovely, relaxing bath.

2. My parents. I am feeling very grateful for their love, support, and continued presence in my life.

3. The fact that my parents are sweet enough that they will forgive the fact that they are number two, after my bath ;-)

4. Prince Edward Island. The sunshine. The rain. The snow. The gorgeous flowering bushes that are all over Charlottetown. The beautiful snaking salt/fresh water rivers that meander inland along the green banks and red beaches. The people who are endlessly kind and generous. The rich culture, amazing visual artists and musicians. The stunning sunsets. The dunes. The red soil that is so rich. The farmland that I hope to farm again some day. The farmer's markets. The windmills. The lighthouses scattered along headlands. The blue herons. The eagles. The foxes. The frogs in ditches that sing on summer evenings. And so much more.

5. Chilled apricots on warm summer evenings that taste like sunshine.

6. My flatmate Minnie who is an incredible cook and baker, tells the best stories, loans me her baking sheets and ignores every bit of advice I ever give her, and rightly so since she is in her 80s and I have no business giving an 80 year old any advice whatsoever anyway.

7. My prayer book, and the waking up early yesterday to drive out to the country, climb a hill and say morning prayers with my dear friend Honeylyn for our parents.

8. The breakfast that Honeylyn and I had together looking out at the river in New Glasgow after our morning prayers yesterday.

9. All the amazing people that have stepped forward to donate random bits and pieces for my new tiny apartment downtown that I move into this coming weekend.

10. Sunshine. Pure and simple.

11. Ann and Stephen--because they are family, they have been there for me through thick and through thin, and are still standing to tell the tale, and no matter what I write in this blog at least one of them always takes the time to read it, which really is quite miraculous.

12. My friend Louise. Because she doesn't actually have to communicate using words to convey either her love or her absolute disproval. And because she not only reads my blog -- she also expects me to read hers, and rightly so.

13. The computer that I am typing this blog entry on-- with functional buttons and screen and all.

14. The fact that I am going to bed before midnight tonight no matter what.

15. Alanna and Sonjel. For recognizing that the best birthday gift would be a rental car so I could get out to the countryside that I love so for a day. And just for being so much fun.

16. The fact that I am learning when to stop, as I am going to do right now.

Sweet dreams friends!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Rubber ducky & the perfume of lilacs

This evening I came home from work, took a lovely hot bath, lathered up with body lotion, slipped into a sun dress and headed out with purpose for a poetry reading that I thought was happening at the university this evening. I was running kind of late, having taken my time in the bath and then relaxing in the rays that fell across my bedroom floor with the novel that I was determined to finish this evening (The Secret Daughter), so I practically sprinted from the apartment that I live in to the university, arriving short of breath and all sweaty. I rushed up to the faculty lounge and peered in through the door to make sure I would disturb people by coming in late. What I saw through the doors was a room full of chairs. No people. No poets....I got my phone out and checked the Facebook invite again, and indeed the reading is tomorrow evening, not tonight. I stood still for a few moments, trying to figure out how to let the friend who was going to meet me at the end of the event after her statistics class know why I was not there. I scrolled her a note on a piece of scrap paper and headed back out into the evening sunshine, feeling rather silly for not having read more carefully. I have been tired a lot lately. Not just tired -- way over tired, which probably accounts of misreading the date. I was walking across campus beating myself up for all this walking when I was already tired and could have used an evening of taking it easy when I suddenly heard this croaking sound emanating from my purse. Quack, quack, quack. Quack, quack, quack. I stared down at my purse, completely taken off guard, before realizing that I had forgotten to give my friends who I was house-sitting for last week back their keys that they had put on a bright rubber ducky keychain that actually quacks. Standing there in the early evening sunshine with my sore feet and tired eyes and with the walk back home ahead of me I started giggling, then laughing out loud. It felt like the universe was inviting me to laugh at the day. To let go of my frustration and to completely embrace and enjoy what was left of my day.

On my walk back home I took my time. I did not rush. I was not in a hurry. I took in the blue blue sky. The gorgeous flowering bushes. The bright green lawns. The little house with the glassed in front porch common in Atlantic Canada that is on my route that has been for sale for a few months now and had a SOLD sign out front today. I listened to the birds singing their evening songs. And I just relaxed. It felt divine after all the racing around that I do on a daily basis to just take it easy for a little while.

Yesterday when I got home from work it was again a gloriously sunny day. My flatmate Minnie, an elderly woman in her 80s was out on the deck enjoying a tea party with two friends. I joined them briefly, taking in the old teapot, the delicate old fashioned teacups, the home-baked cookies and tarts, the pitcher of milk and silver spoons for stirring in the milk and sugar. The sun was golden, and everything just seemed to glow with warm light. It felt like I was awake in the middle of a really, really good dream! I came into my bedroom, grabbed the pillows off my bed and settled down in a patch of sunlight that streaked across the carpet and up the wall with my novel. Heaven. It was pure heaven.

Today I am grateful for the rubber ducky keychain that quacks. The glorious golden sunshine that falls down through the full leafy canopy of trees and lilac bushes heavy with blossom and heady perfume. I am incredibly grateful for my new job at a time when so many are losing theirs. I am grateful for the fact that I live in such a beautiful spot. For my new apartment that I will be moving into next weekend. For my parents who are incredibly supportive of everything I do. For a bed upon which to rest my tired limbs every night. For the delicious salad I made for supper with locally grown greens. For being able to kick my shoes off of my mosquito bitten swollen feet and feel the cool evening breeze blow over them now as I type. For baths -- morning, afternoon or evening. For my dear friend Rafael who I just found out is getting married at the end of the summer and starting a family of her own. And for the stars that are shining brightly outside and reminding me of a new friend who is a fellow star-gazer. I am also grateful for my prayer book that is gazing steadily at me from across the room urging me in that quiet yet persistent manner that prayer books have to pick her up and say some prayers before my eyes close tonight.

And you, friends? What are you grateful for today?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

It is Wednesday evening. I am sitting by the fireplace listening to trees moving in the wind outside and the gentle pattern of misty rain on lush foliage. I am house sitting for the night for two of my closest friends. They live in one of the older neighbourhoods in Charlottetown, on Prince Edward Island, called Victoria Park. I love being in their home for a number of reasons. It is peaceful. They have a fireplace and I simply love to sit by it and read/write. They have a dog named Calypso that I absolutely adore who is currently curled up on her bed beside me enjoying the warmth of the fire after a rather good supper served by yours truly. It appears I am becoming a dog person of sorts. I have been walking Chloe, a 13 year old Shih tzu, daily, for over three months now. And I dog sit Caly whenever my friends Ann and Stephen are out of town. Who would have thought that I would ever call myself a dog person? Just goes to show that people do change.

Last night I was sitting at the Baha'i Nineteen Day Feast listening to members of the community read from the holy writings. Sitting in this incredibly beautiful space that I helped create with a room full of people who I love deeply, from the bottom of my heart, I found myself feeling the deepest, most complete sensation of happiness and contentment. I love it here. I love my community. I love the land and sea. There is so much about this place that brings me joy that even the cold rainy weather in June has not got me down.

This evening my dear friend Louise and I took a walk with her dog Daphne and Calypso. We walked along the boardwalk that runs along the shoreline and looks out across the Charlottetown harbour and up the mouth of the river. This misty rain had the effect of shrouding the headland in the distance in a translucent, dreamlike blur. Blue herons waded the shoreline, their dark bodies, elegant necks and long legs graceful against the dark surface of the water and the grey blur of rain and sky. We walked and talked and walked some more. I love walking with Louise. She is an incredibly talented landscape painter and I find she always makes me see my surroundings and my inner landscape far more clearly than I might if I were walking the same path alone.

It is good to be sitting by the fire writing. It is good to be home. Inside and out. It is good to be on this island, living among friends.