Thursday, September 26, 2019

ROBBLOG #801- Change Please

Distance does funny things.

Not laugh out loud funny. Maybe more funny-interesting.
Being three time zones and a few thousand miles away from where one lived one's entire life is, well- life-changing.
It gives one a different perspective on life and living.

I guess I expected things to stay the same back home in Ontario.
Does everyone think that when a major move is undertaken? Perhaps.
I think you get so far away, that you lose sense of what it was like to live in that "other" place where your entire life was formed and lived. Being removed from that previous "living space" is one thing but living somewhere else and coping with the change is completely different.
It has to be.

It does take some getting used to, however.
I know that first-hand.
Since moving to this Island in the Pacific called Vancouver Island it has taken some thought and perseverance.

Oh, it was all so easy packing up Pine Tree House back in Orillia, Ontario.
The excitement of it all.
The move! The BIG Move!
Then, the reality when you hit the Island and live in a 30 foot RV called Priscilla for a month while your home is being finished.
One day you're told there'll be a delay.
Then a couple of weeks later yet another.
A move to an apartment to at least feel like a normal person in a normal house with a normal roof over your head comes next.
Sometimes that upheaval seems so long ago now.

You have to centre on where you life now and where it will be for the foreseeable future.
The point is you work at making your new community home and you believe that people in "old home" work at keeping things the same.
To wait for your return?
That isn't how the world spins.

There is change back in "old home" it's just that you get so wrapped up in your new home, new places, new people that you forget the world evolves back east.

Change can be as simple as new paint on a neighbourhood door.
New neighbours on the street where you once lived for twenty-five years.
It could be a century building torn down- like my old high school ODCVI that sat a block away from our house. Now, it's just empty space.

Change could be a new building erected on a farmer's field.
New businesses opening where once only rocks and dirt lay and weeds grow.

Change could be a birth or a death.
That's when you realize you are no longer a part of the world that was back home.
A death.
That person who has passed was there all your life and now when you go home, they aren't there to greet you.
Hug you.
Smile at you.
Ask how your new life is unfolding.

It's strange.

At times I feel like I am just on a long vacation and soon all these new people and places will drift away and I'll find myself back in the past, back on the side veranda at Pine Tree House, back to the way things were once upon a time.

I think autumn makes me feel this way, only with a twist these past years. Autumn, when things die off. Streets  become bare of green. Gardens are put to bed and "the social season" begins again to get a body through weeks and weeks of cold, miserable winter.

Living here on the Island this is our third autumn and it is different.
Leaves that change colour are minimal. Most leaves turn brown and fall off from the summer drought. Some trees turn a yellowy-green. Many plants, trees and bushes just stay green.
Green is the colour of autumn here and the colour of what Islanders jokingly refer to as "winter".
Not an Ontario, snow-bound, blustery, freezing rain, bone chilling white winter like Ontario has but a gentle Island time when mother nature replenishes the moisture lost in summer dryness.
If it's an average year, nature brings signs of spring to January and a sign of summer in February when one has to start cutting the grass again.
Last year I remember seeing Islanders cutting grass in December.
We go to the Christmas tree lighting ceremony and fireworks from the rooftop of City Hall wearing sweaters and nylon jackets. No winter boots and scarves except worn by those who are followers of fashion. I even slip on a scarf I bought in London or Paris just to be Holiday fashionable from time to time. It's different and a notable change from Ontario where winter drags on every year.

So, I am still getting used to change.
Change is accommodating me.
Most change here on the Island has been gentle. 
The weather which just might be the biggest change is quite nice.
It plays with your mind when you can sit having coffee in the morning sunshine in January. Yes, I'd have a sweater or a hoody on but still try doing that in Ontario in January.
Oh and in front of me is one of three palm trees on our property.

The Mister and I have adapted to this change.
Oh, we love seeing old friends come here!
We enjoy seeing them fall in love with our island- and they do.
We don't have to convince them. Usually by the third day out of nowhere a visitor will say:
"You know, I could live here."

For us, we are certainly Islanders by now since there is a decal on the back window of our van with the words "Island Life".
The "I" in Life is the Island.

Funny, eh?