As my last days on the island approach, I view it as the ebb and flow of the gentle tide. The waves bring in beauty and splendor, and just as the water recedes, we too will depart, leaving behind only footsteps in the sand and new friendships to be coveted.
Arriving two years ago on a bright, sun-kissed day, I would never have imagined all the beautiful sights I would encounter. I am continuously amazed by the view outside our door, the sparkling turquoise waters that are home to the sea creatures I have come to know such as “Ray Ray,” our resident sting ray who glides through the marina and shallow waters with silent grace. A family of silver snapper swim close to the dock among the black-and-yellow stripe sergeant majors waiting patiently for food to be tossed for them to nibble on as it slowly sank. “Sharky,” the nurse shark, brownish grey hugging the sea floor as he grazed like cattle in a field. The dark and brooding grouper emerging from the rocks only to slowly sink back in. I had my very own salt water aquarium to gaze upon and enjoy.
Looking around, I see our stately coconut palms with their green swaying fronds generously dropping the succulent fruit down to be enjoyed right out of the husk or mixed into a frothy cool beverage. Lush glorious foliage allowing us to have fresh flowers all year round with bright colors to pluck for a vase or simply enjoy outside my windows.
Flying over and around our great blue heron lands on the boulders or in the lagoon lifting her legs high as she would stroll around and then effortlessly lift off and sail over the sand and sea. Tiny yellow birds with their sweet songs nest in the jade leaves of the sea grape trees. The seagulls whose sound reminds me of laughter as they soar overhead, and their white bodies bright and black markings punctuate like an exclamation mark against the canopy of powder blue sky.
Days of sun scorching the ground with heat permeating from every spot of sand and ocean and then times of damp grey rain where only the small hermit crabs are seen, out and about with shells keeping them dry. Even these days the beach has its beauty to behold for when the showers are over the leaves glisten and perk up as if they were quenched by the water that fell onto and around them. Puddles provided pools of fresh water for our feathered friends to sip from or even bathe. Sometimes a rainbow would stretch over the horizon reminding us of a promise made long ago.
Sunsets. Each evening becomes a greeting card of bright orange, melon, peach for a moment in time and then tranisitions to indigo nights where stars shine like diamonds scattered across a velvet cloth at Tiffany’s. Phases of the moon from a sliver that resembles a smile to a large, full orb so bright the sea and sand reflect its image. These images are embroidered into my memory like a quilt, each square a reminder of the beauty that surrounded my life on the Island.