It’s not everyone’s dream

Nick Wolochatiuk ~ Dances With Words
It’s not everyone’s dream

Picture this this: no running water, closest flush toilet and wi-fi signal over ten kilometers away; Ma Bell never got this far; cell phone is as dead as last Thanksgiving’s turkey; no electricity for anything.

That’s the description of our island, our nirvana, utopia, Camelot and Shangri-la. I hear you comment, “Sounds like a prison or purgatory to me. What do you do on your three-four stays there?”

Get comfortable and grab a coffee, I’ll tell you. The X-signs at railway crossings used to say STOP – LOOK – LISTEN. That’s what we do. We stop being ruled by life’s daily clock-watching, repetitive tasks, manicuring the lawn, dealing with duct-cleaning calls and spam E-mails.

We look about us, so we can really begin to see and appreciate our natural surroundings: sparkling water, reeds waving in the gentle breeze, something small scurrying about in the underbrush, detecting the direction of travel of the clouds that are inching their way across the blue, examining the subtle but wide range of greens in the many varieties of vegetation that encircle us.

We listen attentively to each other’s childhood reminiscences, plans for today and dreams for the future. Evening: “Listen! A loon. No, a pair of loons communicating. Splash. A beaver. Then, a whip-poor-will.”

It’s time to light the campfire. There’s still lots of wood we brought to the island. Ah! Warmth! Dancing flames and a few sparks.

“And what about a rainy day?” That’s why we have a tent that’s so-called for four. Its height allows us to stand-up in the centre. By putting sleeping bags aside, its floor space allows us to set up the two folding chairs and gaze out through the screened doorway. Everything else is outside in water-tight plastic boxes.

After about three or four days, it’s time to paddle for two hours to get to the village. Headwind? Make that up to an hour more. Brisk tailwind? Break out the umbrella that serves as a sail. Up to an hour less.

At the village, we have access to the library and its Wi-Fi and washroom. There’s a have-all-you-need general store. A church for spiritual needs. A grocery story for ice and fresh produce to take back in our icebox.

Oh, how we miss our island.

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