Sunday, July 16, 2006

My Island

On my island, the weather would always be perfect. I’d take a nap every afternoon and would be able to hear the waves lapping against the sand from where I’d lie on the bed. If I lifted my head just a tiny bit I’d see the ocean, shimmering; clouds unthreatening, dispersed in a gray blue sky.

On my island, traveling would be more like a movie than real life. Adventure and discovery, yes. But no pesky suitcases, anxiety about schedules, or not knowing which way to go. Luca would never have to drive.

On my island, strangers would become friends fast. Italy would win the world cup. Luca would call his family and all his buddies, balancing the phone with one hand while steering his bike with the other.

My island would not be just one island. It would be a network of islands, and I’d move from one to the other and see seals sunning on rocks and a school of orcas. Multiple islands, after all, would provide the most diverse scenery. False bays with low, low tide; wide grassy fields, a horizon of yellow flowers, picture perfect barns framed by rolls of hay. Pine forests and lakes of fresh water I could swim in. An island covered with ferns and moss.

I’d do things I didn’t think I could do, on my island. I’d ride a bike on a slick, winding uphill road. I’d think my limit was 10 miles and would then do twice as much the next day.

I’d need tall mountains, to make for challenging hikes and sweeping scenic views. On top of the tallest one I’d build a rock tower to see right up to the next country through the clouds.

There would have to be tide pools, too. We’d look into them and discover a different world in each puddle left behind by the tide. There would be rabbit on my island, fluffy brown ones with long ears, and deer with tall antlers, and I’d want a camel, too. A camel I’d call Mona.

Food, of course, would be plentiful. After a breakfast of fresh baked scones and home made granola, I’d walk over to a snack table. I’d take my pick: bars and chocolate, peanuts, raisins. This would hold me over until lunch.

At lunchtime, sometimes I’d go on a picnic. It would never be a soggy sandwich packed in haste but rather a long table with different types of salad, sun dried tomatoes, a selection of cheeses, olives and lavender walnuts. I’d eat it stretched out in a field, barefoot; or on the boat between orca sightings.

My island would have an award winning bakery, maybe two. The specialty would be chewy coconut macaroons with chocolate chips; and almond croissants.

For dinner there would be so much to choose from. Salmon with a caper sauce or lightly breaded halibut; crab-cakes with a spicy aioli sauce. A steaming plate of mussels, oysters or clams. On my island, I’d have dinner with friends every night, and all of them would order dessert. We’d each try our own and then pass it on – counterclockwise – so I’d get eight tastes of eight different deserts rather than eight bites that are all the same.

This is what life would be like, if I had an island.

No comments: