Tuesday, February 8, 2011

today on this island

*** I wrote this about a year ago as a note on facebook. It just came out of me; I ignored any punctuation or mechanics completely because of that. I do want to revise it, but I am not sure what I want to do with the format. I feel like this unrefined sort of draft suports the content, but that is just a little idea. It's a work in progress! I hope you enjoy it :)  ***

its saturday. i wake up to jase playing, running around in his diaper like he does all the time (its too warm for clothes). get up. make myself some oatmeal. brush my teeth. nothing extraordinary.
its is march the sixth. what do i put on?? bikini, sundress, sunscreen and sunglasses. it is march the sixth and i live on an island so the only thing to consider while dressing is the sun shining on me. i love that. wade and nikki get themselves and jase ready and we drive to carambola to begin our day. we are gonna hike to the tidepools.

wade straps jase on- rough ride ahead of us. three miles? am i going to make it? i dont know... not far into it my legs are burning, we climb through the rainforest. there is a beaten path we follow about 20 inches wide, and brushing our arms are vines and branches and thorns but any uncomfort is numbed by the surrounding beauty. thick trees and plants and vines- thats it. and thats how it should be. the shore is visible below us once in a while and it is gorgeous to see from so high the difference in color: near the beach it is an unbelievable aqua which then merges with a deep blue that extends out to forever. we keep putting one foot in front of the other, up the hill, down the slope, over the hurricane victim trees. we notice pigeons, tiny lizards and mongoose occassionally.
we come to some boulders and after those the edge of the mountain opens up with just tall grass. thick honey colored blades reach up to my shoulders and the path is narrower so we feel each one pass our legs. hm.. a fork? lets go straight.
bad idea... we are looking down at a sandy gravel slope that is extremely steep. wade has jase on his back, nikki has a backpack and i have my own bag. how do we do this? i think we went the wrong way. wade slips and gropes for a tree to catch his fall. jase is asleep. my legs are bare so i am a bit apprehensive of just sliding down. there are a few skinny trees along the edge of the trail and so i grab one and just go for it. nikki below me does the same. we are all laughing hysterically, jase is awake, yelling "mommy be careful!!" right as i simultaneously slip on my butt, swing around into nikki (who is holding onto a tree for dear life), and i do the splits around her. this might as well be a cliff, then i could get a footthold at least! jase's sleepy eyes open and  turn to look around wildly at whats going on. we keep swinging from tree to tree, flip flop surfing down this ... whatever it is. the three of us finaly hit level ground and try to stop laughing. we cant. we definitely went the right way.
so now we find ourselves in the bush. like, no path. we can hear the waves that have been building strength finaly crashing onto shore with a mighty resonance. that is our only sign that we are close. the sun shines down through the leaves in deformed spots on the ground. the breeze does not reach us here. the ground is leaves, sand, rocks, dirt and weird spotted clumpy somethings. are those mushrooms? nikki says no, theyre noni fruit. beige clumps with yellow dots, they are about the size of an orange. she tells me they are a superfruit- taste nasty but works wonders. we duck under and step over and shove out of our way branches and leaves. our ceiling is descending. all of a sudden, we are out.

the caribbean sea and all of its blue beauty stretches out endlessly in front of us. the bush we just popped out of is ridiculous to look at from the outside. we come from in there? seriously? hm. two feet next to us is a trail. well, we still went the right way in my opinion.
grey rocks and large peices of white and pink coral make the shore. this is a much easier walk. a break, yes, but a little boring compared to what we just experienced. fresh sea air now makes its way into our bodies in short gasps and the only other sounds are the ocean and a few people's faint voices in the tidepools. we are almost there.
before you get to relax in the water, you have to climb the cliffs. three points of contact, wade says. yeah, right. one foot on an algae encased rock if i am lucky. climb up this vertical part, dip down into a foot of water, make your way across these boulders. a few more steps.

holy crap.
this is gorgeous.
we made it!

there is a family of three in the tidepools, swimming and splashing. we climb down the last ridge and throw our bags down, get jase out finaly. we are soaked with sweat and dirt clings to our skin. a few scrapes on each of us from the hike. the sandwiches we packed this morning are in the dark of our stomachs within five minutes. off go the clothes onto the rocks and our bathing suited bodies into the cool of the tide pool.
its cold. rocky. shallow. relaxing. warmer after a bit. nikki points out little creatures that dissapear into themselves when you get close to them. ever see Avatar? yeah, like those but inch long little fans underwater portruding from the rock. when they think it is safe, they creep back out and we do it again. terrible fun. up and over another giant pile of jagged rock are tiny pools where the urchins live. little black weapons of creatures- violent red in the middle and dangerous spikes in every direction. dont feel like climbing back down into the pool- just jump. jump? from all the way up here? alright... !!
we dry off by sitting on the flattest rocks we can find, which arent flat at all, and let the sun soak up the drops of caribbean left on our skin. i take the shell i found near the urchins and put it in my bag, we strap jase onto wade again and say goodbye to others enjoying this strange pool of water amidst these treacherous cliffs. okay, here we go.
we take the path this time- you cant mountain surf back up the mountain, so ok, fine. we walk through the grass again, see the "right" way to have gone, and wade makes note of that. through the rainforest again. i dont even care to look at the ground anymore. if i trip, whatever. its too much to miss.
tree roots make steps, branches give us handles. this rainforest- it is... it just is. you notice the tiniest of lizards, the greenest of leaves, the sharpest of thorns. the ground knows when your calves cant take another step up so it slopes down to give them a break. it knows when you feel so sticky from sweat and so the trees let the breeze in to alleviate the heat for a minute. every single leaf lives and exhales what you need to inhale, and in turn you exhale for it's life.

this is what it is all about
i lived really hard today
on this island.

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