I’ve always to live on an island. I like islands a lot. They’re defined, yet infinitely diverse. As a kid, I would design my own imaginary islands and archipelagos, drawing maps and adding beaches, coves and volcanoes where necessary, or blueberry patches, treeforts and south-facing pastures. The treehouses came with floorplans and rope ladders, the pastures with Norwegian Fjord horses. And while island habitation has never been a “life goal”, per se, it has a consistent sentiment of “Wouldn’t living on an island just be the coolest?!”
That’s what came to mind while I was walking to the kitchen one day last summer. I reviewed my surroundings:
a boardwalk network among guest cabins and utility sheds, evening light catching log cabins in stunning bronze contrast to the neat green grass and crisp white poplars; Six or so acres of a little sanctuary surrounded by an immeasurable amount of water making up the countless channels, inlets, bays, rivers, more lakes, marshes and trees – ohsomany trees – of Northern Manitoba.
I quirked a smile as I realized for the first time, I was living the dream! I’d forgotten my island desires, yet here I was.
Of course, instead of personal helicopters and rickety rafts like the islands of the my crude little maps, this island had floatplanes and motorboats, but those are pretty cool too.
Not much changed in my daily routine as a cook, but I liked it that way. It made me see the happenings around – the little mushrooms that grew up in the night and the spider webs crossing the trees. It brought my eyes to the ever-changing sky; the transitions of light and reflections on the water.
I saw the same landscape every day, but with each hour a new view was beheld. Every day the light shifted, clouds traveled, and smoke may have smogged us in, but the water always shimmered.
It was beautiful. I can’t wait to go back : )