Over time emotions, thoughts, and history seem to blend together. When I think back to places I feel the major emotions first, followed by what I remember from those emotions.
From now on I will be able to remember Our Time on Wolfe Island. The winter we spent with family and friends, waiting for the snow, walking on ice, and hearing tales of winters gone by. That snapshot, those memories, forever etched into our family's history. That time we spent a winter on Wolfe Island.
Gone So Quickly
Five months have gone by so quickly. Some days have been so difficult I have wondered what we were even thinking, travelling around with our family. I wanted to curl up into a tiny ball, and be whisked away back Home. Some days were the opposite, where I wished they would continue for ever.
Leaving Wolfe Island has been a whirlwind of packing, catching up with friends for the last time, and juggling everything else in between. It has been busy, and that is good, because taking a pause to think about what we are leaving would make us all feel sad. We have made a home, surrounded by people we love, in a beautiful part of the world. It is what we were looking for. How many homes can we make around the world?
What Can We Fit into Five Months?
Hearing stories of the deep, dark days of winter as told by Jenn and Tony, David and Carol, Sharon and Elwin, Teilhard and Corane. Each one of them remembering experiences, with a story to tell, and each one of them saying how “strange this winter is”. They gave us a notice of what we could expect.
Spending days looking out of the window, waiting for the snow to fall. Winter came late on Wolfe Island, the first big storm to hit was in February, and the bay didn’t freeze over until late January. A good part of December was waiting for snow, and January we spent listening to stories about snow in other parts of Canada.
Movie nights. A selection of movies from Netflix, or a selection of movies that we haven’t seen and Friends recommend. Either way, it is a great way to spend a winter evening. Popcorn, and somewhere warm inside, good friends and a movie.
Skiing. Late notice, and the Friday before we left (we departed Wolfe Island on a Sunday), we headed for the hills and skied - most of us did, but that is another story. Jenn and Tony took our kids under their wings and taught them to ski, something we could never have done.
Our American family came and visited for a week before Christmas. We had such a great time with Uncle Thomas and Aunt Sarah.
Square dancing, in an Island Community. With the threat of mutiny, the boys started to dance, and then loved every bit of it. Community and dancing in small halls on the Island. Complicated contra-dancing, fun little square dances. Fiddles sawing, and someone calling the dances. Fun was had by all.
Snow. It snowed hard after our trip up to Quebec City. Over a foot in one day, all of February’s snow in one 24 hour period. Then Jacqui and the boys built a ramp that was used to jump the fence. Tunnels were excavated in the snow, though no-one ventured too far inside. The road was used as a sledding hill.
Spending time with Grammy and Gramps was most excellent. They always made us feel welcome, and always had stories to share, or maps to show us. Stopping in for a short visit meant we didn't leave for three hours, at least.
It passed so quickly. Six months didn't seem to be nearly enough time, in a great spot with great people around us. With friends like these, we never felt too far from home; it felt like we made a home, and that is the difficult part about moving on. We are leaving behind Our Wolfe Island home, and Our Wolfe Island Family.
We utter words like, "When we come back.", or "Next time we're here." to console ourselves. A comfort in the sadness of moving on to the next thing. We are seeking comfort, as the home we have created, with neighbours we love so dear, will be a memory. Good memories, but not daily any more.
We have two things to do before we move on from Canada. The second is seeing Niagara Falls, but the first is spending a night on a farm, with some Wolfe Island friends. A small step away from the Island, and a perfect way to move on.
As as the wind turbines on Wolfe island drift behind us, and we return to mainland Canada, it starts to sink in that we are leaving. The last ferry ride, we are talking about how goodbyes are difficult, funny things that happened, and what we need to pickup on the Mainland when the ferry gets in (some things always never change).
We take a photo as the island slides away. That snapshot not capturing the emotions we feel, and not capturing the memories we created over a winter on Wolfe Island. Those important memories, we’ll hold close to our hearts
"The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with weary feet,
Until it joins some larger way,
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say."
-- J R R Tolkien