Happy Spring, island friends! (And, Summer, I know that’s you peeking around the corner. I’m so ready for your return!)
As my trusty sidekick, the Universe, would have it, I’ve yet to make it back to the Keys in this new year, and I’m still smack dab in the middle of that “walking my talk” lesson in faith I mentioned the last time you all heard from me. And, that doesn’t all have to do with not making my “planned” migration. Truth be told, I’ve really been quite happy with staying put. (Shocking!) My business continues to grow, my furry babies are healthy and happy, I’m connecting with friends old and new, and, well, all of this is what’s kept my heart warm in the cold.
Out of the lessons, though, emerged a new problem. I started to question just what I had to offer here, in a space where I write about all of my island adventures in paradise, when I have done nothing but staycation in the North all winter. Yep, that’s right. Not a single trip South since June! Just what would I write about if I didn’t have any magnificent migration tales to share? Thankfully, care of another island writing friend who was displaced from her island home during the hurricanes last fall, I was reminded that my island heart lives within me, so I’ll always be living the island life, no matter where I am. I have strongly felt, that although I’m not physically there, that doesn’t mean I don’t carry Key West in every cell of my body. And that couldn’t be any more true in this moment.
Along with a healthy, daily dose of Vitamin D, I have been busy creating my own paradise along the river up North. In February, I moved into a new space in an historical ship captain’s home on the St. Clair River and it was my mission to make that space my own–a reflection of this love affair I continue to have with my quirky little island where the sidewalk ends. If I couldn’t get to the Keys, I was bringing the Keys to me.
After several past stays in historical homes in Old Town, there was no question that the décor was going to be bold, bright, and (surprise!) beachy. With a few phone calls to friends, I had the items I had used to furnish and decorate my rental last year, shipped up to Ontario. When I unpacked my coral and aqua colored comforter and pillows, adorned with starfish and seashells, my sense of smell instantly brought me back. It really was a strange, but wonderful, feeling seeing these items that felt like home in Key West, now in a new space I call “home” up North..
From the lime green accents and turquoise window coverings in my kitchen, looking out to the blue waters of one of the main shipping channels to Lake St. Clair, to the specially selected watercolor prints of colorful roosters and a bold, pink conch cottage from an artist in South Florida who also finds inspiration in the Keys, the essence of Key West lives on in my Conch inspired lil space in this 100-year-old ship captain’s home on the St. Clair River. It’s here where my two worlds, and my greatest loves, collide…my True “Key West” North.
Tonight, (not unlike most) I’m listening to my ridiculously talented friend, Chris Toler, stream live at The Green Room Key West and feeling very content with life; trusting I’m exactly where I’m meant to be in this moment. I could not love this space I’ve created any more. I’m also pretty proud of myself for recognizing my own paradise within and maintaining my sunny disposition despite a lack of sunshine and loads of time outside. My heart has been missing some people lately and I’m impressed it hasn’t gotten the best of me. I am inspired in so many ways just by switching up life a bit again. I’ve even got some pretty spectacular sunset celebrations of my own from my new dock!
So, I guess the message this time around is that, yes, your true paradise lies within, but you can also create your very own paradise around you with a little inspired action. 😉
I raise my glass to you, Key West, and all of the gifts you’ve given me. Your sensational sunsets, white-picket-fence-lined streets, the stunning seaport and the beautiful, eclectic people who follow their big dreams every day on this tiny 2 x 4-mile piece of coral rock in the middle of the salty seas of the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. I have not forgotten you, and my island family, and patiently await to be embraced by your magic when we are reunited once again…