Travel responsibly and sustainably

Pandemic Diaries

Sunset in the Maggies

And here comes the month of May with seaside fragrances, clearer skies, and occasional fox ears outlined along the edge of the red cliffs. Two months.

It's official: we will plant our first garden. The seedlings now occupy the guest bedroom, and I check on them every day to see what's new. The leeks are growing up strong, but the beets are a bit moody at the moment. I'd never thought that I would one day feel blessed at the sight of teensy rhubarbs and have to resist the urge to kiss broccolis-to-be.


I spotted someone in a mask for the first time the other day. I subtly examined them, trying to figure out who they were. It took me a minute to realize that my brain had confused pandemic attire with the Mid-Lent festive getups.


Some people really are making the most of these difficult times. It's been told thathuman nature shines through, that our true selves are showing up in what we achieve. Since we started coviding, I only go out for the essentials. One day, in April, I managed to stay in by turning a forgotten jar of pickles into mayonnaise and relish. I keep wondering what it tells about me.


The arrows on the floors of the businesses get all tangled up if you dare to backtrack. One day at the store, there were three of us in the same aisle. The first one ahead started backing up with her cart - she had forgotten to grab something - and warned the second customer in line of what she was doing. The second one backed up without a word, right into me.

- Ma'am? Ma'am, careful there!




Since March, the Islanders have been supporting local businesses more than ever. And small business owners have moved mountains to adapt to the life in the time of corona - be it remote orders and payments with free deliveries on front porches, or contactless orders through barely ajar store windows and quick pickups via half-opened doors. Restaurants and coffee shops also reinvented themselves with more take-out options and complete meals to heat up at home. Like happiness in a to-go box.


In the seedlings bedroom - they're so gorgeous! I look at them, and I catch myself talking out loud, saying that “they all look so good so close to each other!” I think I've become slightly obsessed.


I'm looking for new ways to talk about “social distancing.” For example, how do you tell someone that they're getting too close? For the berry picking aficionados, I suggest “we shouldn't be picking the same patch.” For the sailors, « could you throw your anchor a bit further away?” And a last one, closer to home: « you made it to the mudroom, would you mind stepping back onto the porch?”

Kind words for the kind months to come, when we'll emerge from our cocoons.

Havre aux Maisons Island

Par Suzanne Richard

Suzanne Richard is an author, a speaker and a musician. She published a collection of short stories entitled La mer, trois kilomètres à gauche. Her conference — Les mots et la mer — is about maritime words and expressions commonly used in the French language.

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