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  • The morning sun is selecting bush and shadow like a spotlight.
    No finer day has existed than this one so full of hours.

    Today will end with a boat ride and the mainland will be in my wake.
    I will have a short visit to Gotts Island.
    “Will you check my trees?” my mother asked, “There is a new oak I put in the side field, let me know how it is.”
    My Father is not interested in how things are when he is not there. He wants to be there.

    We will take a bag of food, the clothes on our back and little else.
    Longer visits require more:
    Tanks of gas, tools and implements for off shore gardening,
    Bulk food items for making bread, biscuits and cakes,
    Footwear for rocky salt water, dry rocky terrain and dew soaked grass.
    Even in the height of summer the nights are cool.

    I am taking my cat to my niece for summer camp. The cat used to belong to my niece but when she went to Uruguay, the cat moved in with us.
    We named her Bessie, after a song and a singer.

    Although this morning it would have been Billie, I keep hearing Billie Holliday’s voice singing, “From now on, I’m traveling light.”
    The refrain repeats in my mind and lingers.

    It may have been 2 months ago, recently, I thought my Father had unfriended me.
    Odd to even have a parent as a friend, first, and a strange modern dilemma, second.
    I sent out a query to my siblings and sister-in-laws.
    They were reassuring and I was vulnerable.
    While quietly, and relentlessly, pursuing the matter I joined an on-line writing group and wanted to post story I had finally brought out to the light.

    I first wrote the story ‘Summer of Love’ while I was at University, in a writing class.
    It sat in my drawer from 1982 until 2009 when I found myself in Boston full of early memories and the story began to grow again.
    I was afraid to show the story to my parents but I had to if I was going to post it.
    I was afraid of criticism or discouragement and afraid I would stop writing again.
    But I gave them the story to read.

    They were deeply moved by my story. It was something my family had not talked about, ever.
    But it was also their story; it was really my Father’s story.
    When I got up the courage to post it, not only onto the Cowbird site but also out and beyond, my Father sent me a note privately, but also one in public, on facebook, as my friend.
    He said I captured his feeling of going out to the Island that he still has 40 years later, after that Summer of Love.

    In many ways I am a prodigal daughter.
    But I laid down my sword a long time ago and took to a paintbrush and pen.

    When I step onto the boat today I will be thinking of time and journeys, my own and my Father’s.
    I will hear, over the roar of the engine, Billie Holiday,
    Traveling Light.
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