Volume 8, Number 43, 2005

An Island Homage
By Jim Shephard (Prince Edward Island)

White sand, still warm from the sun, soothes my back as I lie patiently gazing into the night sky. Full of dreams and promises, I wait in tireless anticipation, gazing up at the constellations, amazed that I can distinguish one from the other. My eyes are wide open, in witness to the vibrant display, free from the pollutants and lights of the city. I cannot recall a time when I ever felt so at ease.

My serenity is shattered as the galaxy literally explodes in a mesmerizing display of pyrotechnic wonder. Hundreds of meteors flash across the dark atmosphere, trailing tails of light behind them. Then like the last stanza of an opera they fade into nothingness.

Light from the moon betrays the waves as they encroach on the shore. The sound of soft breaking surf is a distant reminder that I am still here, bound to this earth. I reach out to grasp a star but my fingers fall just short, yet in my mind I see a comet pass through them before I can close my hand.

A dull glow unexpectedly appears below the horizon, as the darkness above turns grey. Several minutes pass as the celestial light show fades from view. In its place the sky takes on a dull orange glow where it mates with the ocean. Something incredible is taking place right before my eyes. I am witnessing the birth of a solar entity.

The sun breaks through the horizon and the sky miraculously turns blue. It appears that the millions of stars that filled the sky moments before have taken up new residence on the surface of the sea, as the reflective shimmers dance about. I feel the warmth of sunlight on my face as the fiery orb climbs leisurely to its lofty perch.

Soon the beach will be filled with people, my fortress of solitude invaded by tourists. But there will be other nights for me to be alone with my thoughts and dreams, other nights for me to get lost in the sky, the sea, and the sand. For this is my land, my Prince Edward Island.