May 16, 2011

Gwynn's Island Time

My grandparents left this morning, leaving me alone at the house on Gwynn's Island. It has been a while since I have been here by myself for more than a day or so. I am finished with my first year of graduate school, and find I am overwhelmed. This place is a fixed point, an unmoving mark by which I can measure myself and the distance I have traveled since I was last here. Little things change, but largely, Homagin remains Homagin. The house smells of my grandfather's pipe smoke, the attic of summer and dust, and the marsh like salt and mud and raw oyster brine (which I am attempting, at the insistence of my grandmother, to develop a taste for.) The woods are green again, but I know the trees now, and though I marvel that they have made it and have grown or broken or tilted askew in the quick-sinking mud of this island, they are familiar. They do not surprise me now. A young bald eagle, brown and somewhat less magnificent than the adult he will be, frequents Barn Creek, and I watch the returning osprey pairs chase him down the water, swirling behind him like kites over the marshes and docks. I watch the spring mallards on the pond, and the red-pointed claws of a blue crab in the muck, and sink barefoot into the swamp, sacrificing the cleanliness of my toes for the fresh, crisp taste of the wild asparagus that grows among the reeds. Everything is as I left it, before DC, before American.

On Saturday I shook off some leftover come-here nervousness and went to the Sausage and Beer Festival put on by the Rotary Club, hosted at the community art school. I sipped tiny, tiny, tiny, cups of local micro-brews and found I knew more people than I expected to, and met more still. DC has made me braver, and a little more willing to open my mouth and speak. Unlike DC, Mathews lacks anonymity. I have a feeling that as I meet more people here this will prove wonderful and a little bit awful. I like it, and I like the people here more and more, as they come to know me a bit better and I grow less wary of them.

The wind came up fast this afternoon, and I'm sitting on the new porch on the side of the house, just out of the gusts off of Milford Haven. The male mallard lands in the pond, where I suspect he has left a lady-mallard nest-bound and waiting. I have a few days to myself, and I find I don't quite remember how I did this. I am happy, but antsy. I find myself making lists, anxious to forget what it is that I'm supposed to be doing. I try to remember how to just be here, but I'm afraid it's going to take a little more time than it used to, so accustomed am I to the pace of the city and the demands of my school schedule. For tonight: gin and tonic, mallard watching, spaghetti and meatballs, and an early rest.

1 comment:

  1. You write so beautifully! My mom found your blog and passed it onto me because my family will soon be making the move to Mathews County. It sounds so nice to me, especially the way you put it. This post left me curious to read more. I think I will enjoy digging through the pages of your posts. Thanks for sharing.