SO, after describing the horrible seasickness I had going over to Monhegan Island, you would think I would have been miserable as hell once I got there. And, to be honest, after making my way onto land, it took several minutes for my stomach to calm down. I stood by the dock with my friends as they loaded their boxes of stuff from the boat onto one of the waiting trucks. The docks on Monhegan led to a steep hill where I caught sight of one of the main hotels on this island. Shrouded in the fog, it came in and out of focus as the fog slowly flowed past it. I took a deep breath of the salty air and slowly, my stomach calmed down. I tried to help H & J with their packages, but only managed to get one box onto the truck. They were too fast for me and had everything loaded before I knew it. H’s mom came half running down the steep hill to the truck to greet us.
I was introduced and I did my best to hide the queasiness that was slowly leaving me. I must have looked green. After a few brief hellos with other people on the docks, H’s mom hopped into the truck with the boxes and they sped off up the hill, with us hoofing it behind them. H asked me if I wanted to ride in the truck, but I decided the air would be better and walking would get me used to the solid ground again.
We trudged along the steep, unpaved road and the island slowly revealed itself as more and more of the fog moved and shifted. We walked along a road I know I should have already been familiar with. This little feeling of guilt was still with me. I had chosen to work a year ago instead of coming to H & J’s wedding here. Something I still can’t quite forgive myself for. But, alas, I didn’t really know them then and I didn’t know I was missing out on making some great friends.
The climb up the road seemed to go on and on as we made our way to H’s mom’s house. I can honestly say, I didn’t look around too much, I was too busy concentrating on feeling better. I still had this feeling like I was on the boat, a feeling which would remind my stomach, which in turn led to a little more queasiness that would subside then come back again. I knew what i needed: a good cup of tea. For some reason, whenever I feel a little sick, stuffed up, depressed, something about the ritual of making a cup of tea is the perfect thing for calming my nerves, clearing me up and relaxing my rebelling stomach. We finally reached her house and wouldn’t you know it? The first thing she asks is “Would you like some tea?” I nodded enthusiastically and plopped down on a kitchen chair, determined not to move again for awhile.
The tea was perfect, I don’t remember the flavor, but whatever it was, it soothed my nerves and finally, the queasiness disapeared completely. I felt whole. While I sipped my tea, plans were drawn up around me of where we were going, who we were seeing. I only half listened as I stared out the windows and saw the fog, which had so completely blanketed the island from the dock to here, finally lift. The puffy whiteness subsided to reveal trees in her backyard, then suddenly, a brilliant blue sky with sunshine streaming down. And just as quickly, it was gone again, but a dull golden glow had taken over what was before a milky cloudiness. The sun was fighting to get through.
It was this moment, listening to my friends plan out our day and seeing the sunshine breaking through the clouds, that I felt the island speak to me for the first time. There are moments in your life you can’t put in words. Moments that have no rational explanantion. This moment for me: sitting with good friends around a kitchen table, sipping tea, fog slowly breaking up to reveal more of the beauty of the island. This moment, for some reason, I felt like I was home. I smiled at my friends. I’m not sure they understood why I was smiling. I’m not even sure I understood. I just knew I was happy and I felt at peace. I finished the last of my tea and washed out my cup.
“Are you ready to go?” H asked me. I nodded and smiled. I was ready for anything.
More tomorrow…its a little late.