I left my home of 10 years on a foggy morning. There was a light drizzle giving everything that moist glitter in an otherwise muted diaphanous grey landscape. Cargo ships rested at anchor and a lonely little fish boat puttered through the morning murkiness. A rail barge was being loaded and the sound of metal clanging rang mournfully in the mists.
My car was loaded with the last few possessions that I’d managed to round up and jam in the back of my car. The kids had no idea how final that goodbye was. They waved dutifully as we said our goodbyes, and protested kisses from friends, they waved again out the window when I asked them too. The significance of such a leave taking completely lost on the here and now nature of children. I watched as the ferry pulled away from the dock, and I wondered where life would take me next and I reflected on the ten years of my life I had spent in that rainy little north coast town. The juxtaposition of buildings jammed so tightly together you cannot walk between some of the houses, with the wide expanse uninhabited land surrounding the town… it always seemed so odd to me. As if folks were nestled down against the dark of the wilderness afraid as they stared out into the wild from around the friendly glow of their neighbours hearth. There is so much beauty in the grey and green landscape I had called home. Although as one friend reminded me, first impressions are one of an ugly little mildewing town, slowly rotting in the inevitable damp.
The ferry bore us south. On and on, the mountains rising in the distance, the waterfalls rushing into the sea, the day past and night blanketed it all in darkness – the darkness that comes without any lights on the horizon, the darkness that would have lit the sky in the brilliance of stars had the clouds not jealously blocked them from view. And dawn came once more…..
We drove in the fog and coastal mist. This long long journey away from the only home my children had known, and the place I’d called home for so long.
Eventually we come to visit with my folks, we celebrated the season, we ate, we watched the fire dance in the fire place and set off again for our new home.
We arrived two days later in a snow storm. My introduction to this new community was an adventure in pure white. Snow swirled and the wind howled at 18 degrees below zero. The roads were white, the sky was white, and yet somehow it was dark even in midday. I navigated coughing, and feeling fluish. The temperature ebbed, and flowed warming and cooling, and I got more and more sick, and the month of January passed in a haze of fatigue and illness. I lost my hearing for a while, my eardrums ruptured and I slept. I went to work in the mornings and would rarely make it until lunch hour shaking with fever and falling asleep with exhaustion brought about by lungs filled with fluid and infection.
My office, my studio space is still filled with boxes unpacked and abandoned, but I am getting better and in time I’m sure I will be back to my regular self. I hoping that by the time the snow melts I will again be in my studio.