Today Raine is 10 years old. When she arrived, a month after her 3rd birthday, I didn’t imagine we’d get to this point. The chubby little girl with a big, gruff voice wasn’t mine then. I was to be a temporary stopping point in her life. But things didn’t turn out that way.
I’ve become her forever home.
In her 9th year, Raine faced some big changes. The biggest, of course, has been our move to Wolfe Island. When I presented the idea, Raine was quick to say, “Yes, let’s do it!” She was sure, sight unseen, that it was the place for her. And she’s been right.
Since our arrival in September, Raine has thrived in a magnificent manner. The silence of the island has been a salve to her soul. Raine is, at last, progressing academically. She’s eager to read and write – something that seemed impossible prior to our arrival here. The teacher of Raine’s small class (19 children in grades 2, 3, and 4) has time to discover motivational approaches. Now when Raine completes her assigned tasks, she is given time to indulge in cursive writing. This brings her so much joy.
There is an abundance of time outside. When the extreme cold of the region doesn’t permit that, the children run laps in indoors – pretending to be Olympic athletes in training. The entire school, about 50 children, run through the gym and out into the halls. Around and around they go. Then, after all the running, they dance. Other places would see this as a waste of valuable learning time. For Raine, it makes learning possible. After all that physical activity, she’s ready to sit down and focus.
Something in her immediately knew this place was right. She was willing to risk another move, after so many in her short life. That risk has brought unimaginable rewards.
Raine has completed her time of being 9, on a high note. As she enters her 10th year, there’s a new brightness in her. She remains full of dreams and determination. For a long time, Raine has dreamed of having a farm and living in tune with nature. Though we’ve yet to secure a permanent residence, we’re surrounded by farms and nature. And the possibility of having her own plot of land is within Raine’s grasp.
“I am sure we should not shut our hearts against the healing influences that nature offers us.”
L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables
Perhaps Raine always knew that nature could heal the parts of her heart that needed it the most. Perhaps that’s why she was so quick to say yes to moving here.
She explores fields and groves of trees for hours, building houses out of snow and vines, stopping to watch pairs of wild swans fly above. Raine’s heart is opening in new ways as she communes with the beauty surrounding her. Like a flower, she’s blossoming.