In May 2011, after four years of life on McNutt's Island, we moved to Montreal. This blog remains, though, as a (sort of) daily record of our time on the island, and a winding path for anyone who would like to meander about among its magical places. For additional perspectives and insights I recommend Greg's book, Island Year: Finding Nova Scotia (2010), and my Bowl of Light (2012). I'll continue to post once in a while. If you do want to read this blog, one option would be to begin at the beginning of it (which is, as we all know, in blog-world, at the end), and read forward, concluding with the most recent entry. It's a journal, really, so it does makes more sense if you read it that way. But, you know, read it any way you like.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Home again

It was humbling to come home again after a two-month absence. We had never been away from the island for more than a week, before, and that only once. Now we returned to a freshly fallen foot or so of snow. After we docked we trudged through it up the hill to the house, lugging only a few grocery bags. The rest of the stuff would have to wait at the boat. We were relieved to find that the freezer, holding several months' worth of food, was still working. Before we left we had turned off the rest of the electricity and drained the pipes. It only took a little while to restore the house, now dormant for two months, to working order. I had imagined that it would take a long time to warm the living room, but by supper time it was cozy again.

The next day Skipper came by, saying that it was the first time he'd visited the island since we left. So nobody at all had been here while we were away. As soon as our boat steamed away from the dock in mid December, the old silence enveloped everything again until we returned.

I think a kind of enchantment falls upon McNutt's Island when its people go away. Maybe it has been like this since the beginning of time. I suspect that those who have claimed it as home over the centuries have known that in truth we are at most making a visit here. This is a place that nobody can possess, where nobody leaves much of a mark. It belongs instead to wave and wind and spruce and rock and gull. Left alone, it only takes a minute or two before the island sloughs off any memory of its human inhabitants and slips again into a deep quiet.

And now it receives us back with the indifference of a small primal wilderness. You may stay, the island seems to tell us, as long as you know your place.

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