Although I relish the excitement of "back to school" preparations, I also anticipate my few final days on the Island. And, once again, I was not disappointed: a irrepressible smile swept across my lips as I looked out the window on descent into YYG; as we broke through the clouds, I even managed to snap a photo of our aircraft encircled by a full rainbow!
After picking up a few groceries, I headed off down the familiar road towards St Peter's Harbour.
It's an hour later on PEI, and so the sun hung lower in the horizon that it would have in Toronto... the start contrast of the many trees against the clear, almost-twilight sky brought with it a sense of clarity and peace. The stress that had been creeping not-so-slowly back into my neck and should region over the past week back at school dissipated instantly. Endearingly, a red fox crossed my path just after I turned off Highway 2 and onto the road that leads to the house.
Although I had foolishly worn shorts for my trek out here, and was now suffering a bit with the extreme temperature differential, overall, the cool, PEI breeze was a welcome break from the sweltering, 30 degree-plus humidity back home in Toronto!! Upon arrival at the house I put on some pants, made a little dinner, and then fell into bed and slept like a baby for a full 8 hours -- a luxury I had not experienced in the preceding 12 days.
Other than a few folks I shared a mutual wave and friendly "hello" with having their morning coffee on front porches of cottages that line the red dirt path leading to the beach, the ocean was all mine; there was not a soul in sight, and I walked for a good hour, enjoying all that the Atlantic morning had to offer. The glittering sunlight dancing on the water, the majestic seagulls -- bigger than any I've ever seen in Toronto -- feasting on crab, lobster and other seafood scraps that the tide had washed ashore, or that they'd fished for and dumped on the big beach themselves... tiny sea-snails leaving a thin trail in the sand as they made their agonizingly slow way across the beach, a piping plover racing along the water's edge, it's tiny feet easily outrunning the gentle waves that lapped up against the white sand... all welcome sights to my tired eyes that have seen only boxes of books, and desks, and computer screens filled with to-do lists for the past week and a half!
One of the things I so relish about PEI, especially when I am here alone, is the absolute silence. Other than the breeze, occasional crickets and the waves in the distance, there is really no noise, human or otherwise.
For someone with self-diagnosed but undisputable ADHD, the solitude is absolutely golden. The quality of the work I am able to accomplish in two days on the island outshines a month's worth of brain labour in Toronto, where I am constantly distracted by a party next door, an argument in the parking lot, a siren wailing the in the street below, the music blaring from people's headphones on the bus where I am sitting and trying to do my marking on the way to work, or any number of urban sounds that simply don't exist in the paradise that is PEI.
This weekend alone, I was able to take an online class, do some more professional reading, blog, prepare a week's worth of intro-to-school ppts, organize my assessment lists for the five classes I'll be teaching, and upload my introductory Edmodo materials for students and their families. I was also able to finish a submission for publication that I'd been working on for a few months. That alone was worth the price of admission!!
Between working, I enjoyed as much of my last weekend of summer as I could. In addition to two naps, the Saturday evening sunset was a particular highlight: After pondering whether to bike to the lighthouse or enjoy it from the screened in porch, I opted for the lighthouse beach...
After packing up, I ran through the fall closing checklist, then headed off to the Berry Patch in Tracadie Bay to see if I could find a few blueberries -- small and sweet, these are a special treat to bring home to Tats and the boys.
Upwards and onwards now, back to YYZ, refreshed from a weekend away, and ready for school!