I tried to forget you but couldn’t. Everything reminded me of you. The days turned into nights. Your smile and laugh would weave its way into my thoughts, highlighting your absence from my life. Weeks passed. Months. So I threw myself into the sea, hoping to drown my memories and sorrow. The waves carried me along while I was shipwrecked in thoughts of the past. One day, I watched the sunlight sparkling off of the foam-capped waves. I felt nothing except the saltwater drip from my hair and roll down my bare chest. My mind was finally quiet.
It was when my mind was quiet that I was able to hear the stories of the sea. A gentle soul rowed his boat next to mine to offer me fruit. “Who are you?” I whispered over my deck, wondering if I should be scared. “I am the one and only” he paused flirtatiously and grinned, “the one and only Wesley”. I laughed carelessly. Wesley and I chatted for some time. He lived on his own farm on top of a hill. He grew his own fruits and vegetables, and caught his own fish. Wesley shared his story with me. He lived a beautiful life. The peace and serenity he experience kissed his face and spread out through his warm smile. We parted ways, and he left me with passion fruit and bananas.
I made new friends in the Blue Lagoon. They told me about life on the island and building new houses. We laughed and talked. They admired my American accent. I kept in touch so I could send them the portraits I took of them riding in their boat. From time to time, we write each other. We wonder how we can ever really be happy on land now that we have lived at sea.
I went ashore to climb a lookout point. I marveled at the beautiful boats waiting at the dock. The men were catching and eating sea urchins. They showed me how to break them open. The women waited at the dock for a sea taxi. I jumped into my dinghy. They called out to me as I started the engine. They were curious as to why a man would let me drive. I smiled and called out to them “women are much better drivers” while I waved goodbye.
But my favorite story of the sea was the one without words. It was a quiet morning. I sat at the bow of the boat with my camera. The waves gently crashed upon the shore while I looked at the Pitons. I noticed the waves pick up. A motor became audible. A group of six men rode gallantly on a modest boat. I watched them navigate around the inlet with anticipation. I wanted them to get close enough to take a great photo. Watching them with great delight, they got close enough for me to take this shot. We did not speak. Rather, we exchanged silent smiles of curiosity and reverence.