Thursday, September 17, 2009

Island Time

When we first arrived on the island, a woman I met here told me, "You're on island time now."  I had a feeling then that I knew what she meant, but it's only after being here a couple of weeks that it's just beginning to sink in.  I wake at sunrise without an alarm.  I watch every sunset.  I see my neighbors walking their dogs or riding their bikes past my doorstep each morning and evening.   

I read or work on my writing for what feels like half an hour, then I look up at the clock, and three hours have passed.  I've stopped wearing my watch (gasp).  The only thing I rush for is to catch the ferry to the mainland, because unlike everything else around here, it does run like clockwork.  
Yesterday I arrived at the post office around lunch time to find the door locked.  No worries.  I just waited fifteen minutes until the postmistress came back from her lunch break.  It was a good excuse to go buy myself a pumpkin pie ice cream "Down Front" and to catch up on the announcements posted on the community bulletin board near the ferry landing.
Moments stretch into whole afternoons, and a brief glimpse of a seashell or a wildflower colors the entire day with a particular mood.

We have always been avid readers, but here, reading does not have to be squeezed into the gaps between appointments and meetings and classes; on the island it is the center of our days again.  

Sunlight and shadows shift across a room, a cove, a salt marsh, and with these changes come new thoughts, a new sense of being in the moment.
I forget thirty-five years when I climb among the rocks, collecting heart-shaped stones, sea glass, and shells with which to stuff my pockets.
When the wind picks up and clouds roll in, I am fastened to the view in front of my house, watching wave after wave reach for the shore.
As sunset arrives, the marsh turns golden and the cattails come alive.
We head down the road to see what new towers and totems have been built today.  

Bedtime will come when exhaustion takes over.  My conscious mind swims on the surface for how long--seconds an hour?--before it dives down deep into the sound of ocean waves and the oblivion it needs before the coming of a new day.  


  1. The pictures are beautiful. I wish I was there.

  2. I have to admit that I would not get ANY work done there...Bliss...And did I read Pumpkin Pie ice cream correctly?...Yummy!


  3. It sounds like heaven, and a place that would be very difficult leave. I loved your photos, thank you.


  4. Oh Gigi,

    These messages from your island world are such cherished gifts.

    Thank you,


  5. Dearest, this is just a beautiful post -- from image to words to all they conjure. Thank you for sending a small slice of your island time to my crazy work time -- peace!

  6. Thanks for your thoughts, everyone!

    Clever Pup: We're on an island just off the Maine coast. We're here until the end of December.

    m.heart and Cathi: Yes, heavenly and beautiful are exactly the words for it.

    Marisa: I wish you were, too!

    Pamela: I agree. My "normal" life is not like this, but I'm trying to find ways to bring some of this life with me when I head back to my everyday life in January.

    Oliag: Yes! Pumpkin pie ice cream, and it tastes even better than it sounds. Oddly enough, I am getting work done. It's easy to concentrate here.

    Sue: Thanks so much for your comment. I can't imagine how hard it will be to leave here, so I'm not thinking about it until I have to!

    Marjorie: You are so kind! I feel the same way about your beautiful posts.

    Marlowe: I wish I could take some of that craziness away for you. Maybe when you come visit I can at least help you forget it for a little while.

    xoxo Gigi

  7. you take my breath away. i want to hear more about this enchanting place.
    i see you have a David Sedaris. : )

  8. Ok honey, so if you just keep writing this you'll have a book. I just love the sound of the wonderful place you are in. You do write so beautifully my dear.

  9. Gigi...thank you so much for taking us along with your to experience a little of your Island Time. I am so glad this time so far has been rich and rewarding for you & Todd in so many way. These photos say so much about the happiness your are dwelling in right now... Those sunrises tug at my heart--look that pink ribbon in the sky!:o) Happy weekend, my friend ((HUGS))

  10. Oh my, I want to come and live there for 6 months. It sounds like Utopia. Your photographs are beautiful as is your text.Were you going to the post office to post my parcel ? I can't wait for it to arrive. I'm so glad that I won YOUR giveaway. XXXX

  11. oh wow ... just taking a deep breath here ... i really believe life ought to always be on island time ... to fully take in the day or moment as it presents itself to you ... to be one with the rhythm of nature ... i love that reading is the center of your day ... and that you have found yourself to be, well ... centered on your island.
    i just get this wave of calm from you ... thank you for relaying that and for being you, dear gigi ...
    always 'watchless',
    prairiegirl xoxo
    ps if you could, you would feel this enormous hug i have for you ... you are a special soul ~ thanks so much for yesterday's comments xo

  12. Christina: Don't worry, honey! I'll be telling you more, I'm sure! Yep. We love David Sedaris around here.

    DJA: That's a wonderful compliment coming from you, the book lover. Thank you so much.

    Tracy: Your comment made me misty-eyed. Oh, and I forgot to say in my post that Todd took that beautiful pink-ribbon photo! He was up earlier than I that day.

    Jackie: Yes, indeed, I was heading over to the post office to send your package! When it comes I hope you will forgive the crazy exterior packaging. The postmistress was determined to get it into the smallest package possible! She has that New England yankee frugality! I can't wait for your to get it, though!!!!

    Prairiegirl: Okay, I started misting up with Tracy's comment, and now I'm just full blown weepy. Thank you, dear, dear woman. You are such a treasure.

  13. Oh, heaven. Pure heaven. I am eager to read the writing that results from this soul time you've been given. This blog post was like a dainty, luscious taste. I'm eager for the entire torte.

  14. I had to stop by because of your name! I have a Gigi. Great blog!

  15. I'm seeing this for the first time. What stunning beauty this island has. ~sigh~ And you just came back from here...again!


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