He calls them prairie islands.
The isolated yard sites scattered across the Manitoba landscape.
Protective orderly borders of evergreens guard shaky poplars and sweet smelling lilacs.
Stoic four square, two storey houses with hip roofs and weathered siding.
Sagging grey outbuildings and gun metal machine sheds.
A doghouse for a mangy mutt.
Dandelions and hollyhocks.
A buzzing light at the top of a leaning hydro pole marking the spot.
The half-mile driveway, a lifeline to the outside world.
Some might see desolation and loneliness.
But she sees possibility and hope.
Together, they can build their own prairie island.
A life raft in the blue sea of flax.
A shady umbrella in the blinding yellow canola crop.
A down comforter under the cold cotton sheet of new snow.
An oasis in the wheat field.
Where scrappy scrub oaks support the tender weeping willows.
Cheerful chickadees encourage mourning doves.
Foxtails tickle the bleeding hearts.
And with optimistic apprehension and tentative anticipation, a new family can grow.
Within a prairie island.
Conni from Clandeboye
Wishing for you a safe haven, a secure family, your own prairie island.
©Conni Cartlidge, 2010