Friday, March 11

Island Living

We have some major changes and choices approaching us in life. No, I am not pregnant. I am already pregnant, remember? I know it seems this is the only surprise I am capable of. As we brainstorm and evaluate life, we am being forced to figure out what we want from life for both our happiness but more importantly our families well being.

As I was getting out of the shower last night (where I do some of my best thinking) because we ran out of hot water (common occurrence here), I began to think about what it is that really attracts me to St. Criox and island living. With a shiver, I then wrapped myself in my thin, dry towel. The thin towel is key for me. I am guiltily, I used to be the connoisseur of the thickest, plushest, most expensive hotel towel to engulf myself in but now the thought of one makes me ill. To me, thick and plush means the towel will not dry completely in the moist environment we live in and that I will have a mildew treat built up on the towel by my next shower and well, that is just sick. Clean off in the shower just to wrap yourself in mold, now thats hot.

It is little things like this, so different from mainland life, but things I love about living on an island. To me, life is real here and I seem to do better with it. I am weird, I am fully aware, but it works for me. It works for me to wash my dishes after each use and to conserve as much water as possible while doing so because WAPA (Water and Power Authority) is so absurdly expensive here. It works that I have to make sure each and every crumb is accounted before or ants or bugs will feast. Love that I have hang my washcloth outside on the clothes line each night or it will infect my counters with mold if used in the morning. I relish in the fresh breeze that blows through our house, even in the hot months, because this is real, though I might be sweating or pissed at the mosquitoes, this is what real life is like.

This is just the beginning, a small look into my daily chores which are made different because I live in the tropics. Why does it work for me? I am not sure. Every action has a result, a price to pay and I like it that way. Life is not easy, no dishwasher, washing machine, no cheap groceries, less than outstanding customer service, rough public schools, long lines, bumpy roads, frequent power outages, (I could go on and on). But to me, there is beauty at every turn, culture, and diversity, and adventure, which I am finding I thrive in. 

I remember during my grandmother's first visit to the island she said something along the lines of, "I don't get the attraction". Ouch. I totally get it though, this isn't Hawaii, you have to look beyond some things to find the beauty. I can only imagine what the cruise ship passengers think as they land in Frederiksted.

But, I guess what I am saying is I feel guilty with abundance, I am a proud American but the abundance we can be faced with daily on the mainland is a bit much for me, it isn't fair and honestly, it weighs on my conscious. Don't get me wrong, we are far from third world here but we are definitely a step down from America.

I love that our girls are being raised to be conscious of themselves of their impact in this world, in beauty, in nature, barefoot, and in a diverse environment, without constant consumer driven images being shoved down their throat of what they she look like, should be, should buy.  Can this way of life be found other places or is it just about making it happen?
So as life comes at us again, I have to think, for all of the frustrations, would I want to live on the mainland again, could I live by the clock again, sit in traffic, wear shoes, unload a days full of dishes from the dishwasher, go to a mega shopping mall, have everything at my finger tips?  Not sure but frightened to try.

I will keep you posted as things but we are first trying to figure things out for ourselves. But for now,

Wishing you all a beautiful day.

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