Friday, January 3, 2014

Anna Maria Island

Yesterday's Globe had a beautiful Facts and Arguments essay by my long-time friend and student Mona. Very proud of her - her first publication. Highly recommended; check it out on-line.

I'm writing from the Paradise Cafe and Bagel Shop in a mall on Anna Maria Island. There is no wifi at the apartment - I may shrivel, I the internet addict! It's chilly for Florida - ten degrees Fahrenheit. I am wearing a sweater. And sandals. My daughter just wrote that in Toronto it's minus 34 with the windchill. Here is heaven. Paradise, in fact.

It was raining, dark and windy when we landed last night, an hour and a half late. I made my way in the rented car to Anna Maria, worried about the route, the rain, the key which sometimes doesn't work. With no problem, there I was in Mum's living room. It's so odd to walk into my mother's condo without her in it. She is everywhere - in the messages on the fridge ("If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention!"), the pretty vases of dried flowers, the collection of shells, the photographs of seabirds, and especially, the giant blue and gold Mark Rothko on the wall. It is simple and tranquil, uncluttered. I immediately felt myself unwind, the shoulders begin to loosen. There was no food, but I'd brought crackers and cheese and bought a little bottle of wine from Air Canada - voila, supper. And silence, except for the wind battering the banana palms outside the window.

Thank you, God.

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