The One Thing- Time.
The one thing that made me leave Gotts Island was that it was time. It was time to go to work, it was that time of year, and it was time to grow up. I left behind something I loved but no longer liked, a life style that had promised adventure but revealed a more barren reality. After spending a winter on the island, I understood why the earlier settlers had needed to move on, leaving behind un-insulated wood houses and a cemetery, leaving the forest to take over the fields. It is a place for the young and for a time.
“It is like watching a ping-pong match,” my father sniffed, not even affording his metaphor the gravitas of a tennis game. “First you move up from New York and now you move back, you have to choose.”
Decades, later I still have not chosen. I live in one place, work in another and return to Gotts Island when time and the seasons allow. I expand and contract my goals and dreams to fit each place. At least now I better understand what each place and season offer and try not to build my dreams and life where they cannot thrive.
As for my father, the decision was made for him. Now he sleeps, beneath stone and snow, under the maple tree in the field and does not have to leave anymore.