I move back to Toronto in another week. I'm having mixed feelings, as one might expect. It's always difficult for me to leave Prince Edward Island. It really is very lovely here, even in the "off-season." Some people find it too small, but I think I'd be pretty happy living here.
I've mentioned it before, but there's nothing that compares to the smell of this Island. Maybe there's a smack of salt in the air, or more pasture-to-lung capacity ratio, I don't know. I know that when I smell manure, I don't turn up my nose, but I think of UPEI. See, UPEI's campus is adjacent to the Atlantic Veterinary College, and when the wind is just right, you can smell the barns. It doesn't smell bad. It smells like home.
I knew moving home to PEI for four months would be dangerous. This island is addictive. To say it has charm might seem demeaning, but there is palpable charm here. People still look out the window when they hear a siren go by.
Sometimes, though, the Island drives me crazy. Church communities are still very strong, so it is sometimes frustrating. Also, the Island has only become what might be by any stretch of the imagination "diverse" in the last decade, so you'll hear comments that you'd never hear anywhere else.
There's very little anonymity here. Not being able to feel alone is sometimes an asset, and sometimes drives me absolutely batty. Here, I am still introduced as my father's daughter. It makes it difficult to be your own person sometimes. Happily, my father enjoys a good reputation on the Island, so I can use that to my advantage, too, if I want to.
Still, Toronto beckons for now. If I don't get into U of T this fall, it'll be difficult for me to justify staying for the summer, unless I get a job. Loving my friends who live in the Big Smoke and loving to play ukulele in a big, happy uke community are not good enough reasons for me to flush money down the toilet every month. Not really, you know? Well, who knows what 2011 will hold. Hopefully schooling, and hopefully in Toronto.
Big thanks to Thea C. for the beautiful PEI pics.