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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

a postcard from paradise

I'm back in the arms of my first love.

My heart skipped a beat when the airplane started to lower itself into Vancouver. We hovered above a sheet of clouds with the odd mountain peak poking through. Sudden gaps revealed rows of long, dramatic tree lined mountains. A pink sun set the clouds aglow.

It was the most beautiful landing I've ever experienced.

Before I knew it we were descending into the city lights and the wheels were grating along the runway.

One of my greatest pleasures is, and always will be, the moment when the airplane touches the ground. My whole body shivers. I've arrived.

When we got into the airport, two young men from Quebec approached me. "So, is you're boyfriend picking you up?" "No," I told them, "the love of my life is. My mother."

And soon she was there, in the flesh, glowing in an orange sweater. I yelped and jumped into her arms.

"I see where she gets her good looks from!" Remarked one of the young men in his heavy accent. I pulled her away to get my bag and have her to myself.

Driving home through our quiet city, every sidewalk, every storefront, hit me with a memory. It's been over a year, and yet it feels like I never left. The only thing difference is that my heart is beating a little faster and my head's in a much better place.

I'm home. It's shocking. Everything is big and clean, and the grass is blindingly green. Waiters apologize when your food is five minutes late, and the coffee is divine no matter where you go.

I jumped onto a friend yesterday, wrapped my legs around her, and told her I was speechless. Five minutes later I couldn't stop talking, ecstatic to be making dirty jokes and laughing with my friends again.

I am beside myself. I have my mother, my loving father, my brothers, the ocean and my friends.

It's what I need. A taste of the familiar and somewhere to call home.

hotel at Charles de Gaulle
above the clouds
my room
kitchen at home
my mother's writing house
my family likes olive oil

13 Comments:

Blogger Kirti Chawla said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:16 AM  
Anonymous Florent. said...

Wow, you've got readers from all over the world !

Thanks for your answer to my previous comment !

Enjoy your time in vancouver and meet you on line 6 when you'll be back :)

Florent.

6:55 AM  
Blogger A Novelist said...

What a wonderful description of going home. I feel the same flood of emotions when going to my place of birth, Seattle. I hope you have a great time during your visit. :)

6:57 AM  
Blogger Georgia said...

I love that moment when you're on a plane and you feel it start to drift down. Seconds later it's beep beep beep "we are now making our final decent..." I will then spend the next twenty minutes with my face and hands plastered to the window watching the little cars on the road get bigger and bigger, until you can tell what colour they are. And then bump, when you hit the runway, it's a feeling like nothing else.

My oh my your post has gotten me excited for September.

2:30 PM  
Blogger NWO said...

Great post. And lovely images again, you have a great eye for the sweet light.

10:55 PM  
Blogger maitresse said...

yay for industrial sized vats of olive oil! god I miss north america.

have so much fun and see you when you get back!

L xx

4:14 AM  
Blogger Charlie said...

oh my god gillian, i feel terrible because i only now read of your harrowing experience on the night bus! i'm so sorry you had to go through all that -- nobody talks to me on the night bus so i always forget that it's a problem for girls...

i'm glad to hear that vancouver is providing a much-needed respite. i miss you, though, as does paris. can't wait to see you soon!

4:34 PM  
Blogger Sky said...

glad to hear you are home and back inside the mutual admiration society! :)

2:39 AM  
Anonymous a south french guy who love your ass said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

gillian, you'd better delete the previous comment.

A french-speaking reader.

6:26 AM  
Blogger Gillian Young said...

Kirti, thank you so much, I'm elated to have a reader all the way from India!

Florent, line 6 on the metro?

Anonymous, good idea on removing the comment, I was a little shocked by the content...

The rest of you, thanks for the comments as always.

5:51 AM  
Anonymous Florent said...

Yes, line 6 of the metro, I was just teasing you because of your statement about frenchmen being stalkers...

I'm the anonymous reader by the way.

Keep on writing, you're really gifted !

Florent.

6:37 AM  
Blogger Kirti Chawla said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1:57 AM  

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