'Prepare to be immersed in the heat and vibrancy of Florida's natural world, full of such sensual detail that to read it is to breathe it in.' -Jo Shapcott [review of Greyhound Night Service]

If words could make it real

Sitting here in my parents’ house watching the heavy snow pile up outside. And I’m so happy to still be here in the Carolinas, 24 hours after I was meant to be at the airport flying back towards London. The southern states are having the biggest winter storm since 1988. It’s already been snowing for the past 11 hours and the snow has been getting even heavier in the past half hour. There is such beauty in sitting here at this big oak desk typing while my mother is in the other room working on lesson plans. And outside the silent snow falls and I am grateful for still being here and having the extra time with my family. I have the whole day ahead of me with time for taking all this in, for giving thanks for all I have connected with on this visit, for the hours of mah jong to play later.
My grandmother tried to bribe me this morning. She wanted me to go out to the shop and get her some chocolate milk. ‘But there are no roads,’ I said to her, ‘they've all disappeared.’ This seemed to appease her and she nodded and went back to crocheting doilies for the arms of her new chair.

Dad is down hauling snow around and I’m sure he’s out there just to be in the midst of things, like usual. The birds are fed, the cat has settled into watching them at the window. And I’m still here. If saying the words of a wish could make it true, then my wish has come true for the second visit in a row. Last time I was here in April, I wanted to stay longer and volcanic ash took over the atmosphere, this time, snow. And while I really do doubt I have any serious effect on the environment as a whole, it feels as if I whisper my wish to extend my time here and it happens. I am very lucky. And today my remarkable things are many--

So many birds!