The sun rises over St. Lucia
Well I can tell you now that I needed to get away. Quite badly as it turned out. Not particularly because the life I lead in the everyday world is something terrible, no, on the contrary. I needed to get away simply because without realizing it, I was well past due for a circadian resetting of my life rhythms; past due for a cartographic rerouting of the importance of getting from point A to point nowhere.
This was easier to accomplish without the fogging distractions of my daily patterns. Once the insane car driving of Houston highways, the repetitive chores of my housewife life had all been left behind, a radical 180 degree shift took place. Somewhere, soon past the starting of our arrival to St. Lucia, my husband and I rediscovered the joys of not having to go about decently dressed and properly coiffed; Of letting our kid run wild because no one, and most especially the sea, minded not a bit that he was more than his usual, rambunctious self; that my thoughts, trapped in the same mental asphalt I'd been pouring from in the last few months, would be easier to de-tar with the cadenced help of waves lapping at my subconscious.
I had forgotten what the stars looked like in the embedded setting of an indigo-hued sky. How clear the night could appear that when devoid of clouds, relieved of planes and spared the competition of man-made scintillation, that the erasing of many light-years worth of separation would seem an almost possible feat. I am almost certain that I touched their light these past few nights and if I didn't, well then I quite sure that their light touched me.
Now that I am back in Houston and away from the bountiful glory of the West Indies, I have promised myself to not overlook the axial grounding of sea and stars. I will look up more into the city-tarnished glow of the former and attempt to recall just as often the surging magic of the latter. And because I'm feeling a little sad after the closure of one of the nicest trips I have ever undertaken, I leave you with this melancholy little poem by Derek Walcott, Nobel Laureate and native St. Lucian. It seems to me that he echoes the archetypal solace one can always find in the sky and in the water.
After the Storm
by Derek Walcott
There are so many islands!
As many islands as the stars at night
on that branched tree from which meteors are shaken
like falling fruit around the schooner Flight.
But things must fall, and so it always was,
on one hand Venus and on the other Mars;
fall, and are one, just as this earth is one
island in archipelagoes of stars.
My first friend was the sea. Now, is my last.
I stop talking now. I work, then read,
cotching under a lantern hooked to the mast.
I try to forget what happiness was,
and when that don't work, I study the stars.
Sometimes is just me, and the soft-scissored foam
as the deck turns white and the moon open
a cloud like a door, and the light over me
is a road in white moonlight taking me home.
Shabine sang to you from the depths of the sea.
The sun sets over St. Lucia
The sun rises over St. Lucia