I’m not as sentimental as I should be. I take the fact that I live in one of the most beautiful countries for granted, I often assume that I will always have the peace of the ocean crashing against the shore and the annoyance that comes with seagulls begging for food.
But in moments when I remember just how lucky I am, I smile. When I think about the reefs surrounding the white beaches of Peterson’s Cay, The wild parrots that fly freely throughout the abaconian islands or the iguanas that demand the attention of the wildlife surrounding them. I realize, that this place that I call home, is my peace.
My life would be incomplete without the fruit vendors that seem to have the most succulent mangoes in the summer. Where would I be without the divers that go to the ends of the earth (or the rim of the Atlantic) to get the biggest conch meant for the best salad. Children shooting marbles in the streets not caring how hot the sun may be. Our island life is not without it’s troubles, but with the backdrop of paradise there is an overwhelming aura that lets you know that everything will be ok.
The discovery of one’s true self is the real purpose of life and in my home you are able to go on an adventure everyday that leads you to who you are.
My Island community consists of former indentured servants that truly appreciate life and the freedom that should come along with it. We celebrate this with a festival of colour. Junkanoo, we call it. If you listen hard enough right now, you can hear the clanging of the cowbells, the shrill cry of the brass band, the thud of the goatskin drum. It is your heartbeat that keeps the line in time and if you listen closely it will take you to a place that you never thought possible.
Greater men have tried and failed to haggle art pieces from the vivacious women of the Straw Market. Observe carefully, their calloused hands evidence of their hard work. They have laboured too long to sell their precious ornaments to “Mr. So and So” from his fancy office and will never be afraid to send him away if offered anything less than what is asked for. These little things are what I live for. These little things are what my country’s social construct is built on. Through these things we see our culture manifest itself into an explosion of all things diverse.
My island nation isn’t just about palm trees swaying in the wind. It’s about finding the beauty in every single thing that you see, Finding the joy in every situation you encounter and being able to use your community as a port in the roughest storm.
Living in The Bahamas I have the privilege to sit on my favorite rock at my favorite beach and look to the Ocean. She is serene on most days but choppy and dangerous on others. It is in the ocean where I see the true beauty of life present itself and through her aquamarine waters that hold many secrets, I find peace in both my heart and mind, hoping that others can do the same.