"If you move to an island, I can't visit you."
My MotherI watched the moving van in front of me. The sides of the van barely squeezed through the aisle. How could these big trucks and buses navigate across the water without sinking the ferry. It was a Saturday in August of 1987 and we were taking the plunge, hopefully not into the Puget Sound, moving onto an island. I had five rowdy children in the back of my station wagon. Daddy was riding in the cab of the truck with our friend Dale, who was either so glad to get rid of us, as we had been living with him for a while, or he was just a prince among men. The later is more likely the truth.
I sat in the ferry trying to remember the interior of the house we rented a week before. All that kept coming into my mind was the view out the back. How did we get so lucky to rent a view home for less than mainland rent? The back of the house faced east. Across the water you could practically see where we lived before. I thought of the swing on the back porch. That would be my sanctuary.
As the volunteers from our church moved our older furniture into the house I marveled at the light filled kitchen, east light streaming through the plentiful windows. The house was certainly not new, but I could only see the light and the view.The small stairway creaked as men laden with mattresses trudged up the stairs. I admired the claw foot bathtub wondering who would take baths in front of the window? The girls wanted the south bedroom with the slanted ceiling and the boys claimed the middle bedroom, two in bunkbeds and one on the side; cramped quarters.
As night reached across the front yard, I lay exhausted on my bed in an unfamiliar room. Would we be happy here? Would my husband do well in his new job? Would we have enough money for September rent? I heard the boys whisper to each other, "It's really dark here." It was so dark I couldn't make out my dresser across the room. On the mainland street lights kept dim light filtering in all the windows. It was so, so, quiet. The kind of quiet that makes the noise of your ears sound deafening. What I did not know then was that the darkness, in which I could hide, would force me to excavate my true nature. And, the silence would allow me to hear my own voice.
I am writing for 31 days this October about Island Life. Click here to see the other days of writing.