“A writer is someone on whom nothing is lost.”
- Henry James
I’ve just returned from Prince Edward Island, a lovely place where there is never a shortage of things to catch the eye:
1. When the sun graced a red currant picked from the bush behind my great-grandmother’s woodshed, the berry gleamed in my palm like a glass bead, a jewel.
2. A photograph taken in 1917 of my grandfather, who was then recovering at a hospital in England from a mustard gas attack in France. He is seated at a table holding a hand of cards, bandages affixed to his glasses; both he and the person opposite him share an expression of mirth, as though sharing a joke. It’s a testament to the usefulness of humour in a grim situation. (I’m glad to say his eyesight was restored).
3. Chanterelle mushrooms sprouting in the lawn of a cousin’s property. In the lawn! Had I had another hour, I’d have gone picking in the woods, sigh…
4. The discovery of cloves scattered under an old mattress, probably there for at least sixty years. (Anyone care to guess why they were there in the first place?)
5. A pale crane at low tide, standing tall and still as a piece of pre-historic driftwood, admiring its own reflection in the still water.
6. A nostalgic calm brought about by the vividness of the red cliffside against the evergreen forest and the brilliant blue sky above; the sculpted ribbons in the sand bars beneath my feet. The place has been like this since long before my own memories began.