At this point in my story, this much I know for sure: I absolutely love walking my dogs, and today was the best day of the rainy season for walking. We were in the Bushiribana area and circled the goldmine ruin. 81 degrees Fahrenheit (26 degrees Celsius), partly clouded, a fresh breeze from the ocean. Good energy, good pace, no rattle snakes, a little drizzle when we got back to the car. I felt I could walk till the end of the world and still have energy. Raindrops on the windshield on the way back, 2 happy noses in the wind. Wagging tails. I wish all days were like this one.
Today is Friday. I like Fridays for 2 simple facts. Well, I like all days of the week. All hold something special. Mondays usually brings a new week. Fridays are the last days of the workweek and hold the promise of the weekend.
Did I mention the best places to walk the dogs on the island? There are many of course, but I prefer to walk along the coast, no traffic, beautiful landscape, sky and the wind from the Northeast or a sea breeze. So, Seroe Colorado, Bachelor’s beach, Rodgers beach, Ayo, Sabanilla Abou, North coast/Lighthouse, Barcadera (Schelpenrits), Andicuri and Black stone beach, Natural bridge and surroundings, Bushiribana and surroundings, Parke Nacional Arikok, Malmok beach, Phoenix pier, Savaneta beach, Cura cabay beach, Ceri Noka, Bushiri.
I thought of making this list because Dionne asked me to. And maybe because I document some of the things I do. She wrote me an email “Hey You, Happy Friday. Looking for nice morning walking spots with me dogs, no idea. Nature as well as near water, can you please give me any recommendations that at the same time are safe for the dogs and won’t have me run around them neither removing ‘pega saya’s’ afterwards?”
I find that even if I go to the same spot every day, everything is different and new, the smell, the wind, soft or tumultuous, the forms in the sand made by the waves, new shell compositions, driftwood and plastic waste. Some of which I hang in my tree. That is why every day the walk is marvelous. When I asked Heloise, who sometimes walks my dogs, about her good place, she answered: “I am always looking for quiet places, the places you go for that restorative solitude”. Heloise is a bit of a Monk type.
Let me tell you what I don’t know in this point in my story:
I don’t know if this will be forever and ever. Will we always be walking, strolling, running or hopping every inch of the island? Finding new spots, routes and still life compositions to photograph?
But here is what should be clear by now: I absolutely love being here. By ‘here’ I mean on the island, in my life, in this day and age. I walk Phoebe and Kimora, my hobbits. They take me all over the island. We walk and sniff, look for beautiful spots as we let my memories flow freely and reflect on the things of the day and the days of the week. Sometimes I travel way back in time all the way back to my childhood but walks usually bring me back to the now, where my dogs are. Okay and sometimes they find something really gross stuff like horse poop or rotten fish, like today. And they roll in it before I can stop it. There is no sitting on my lap after that. I won’t have it, that stinky business.
Here is what I haven’t told you up to this point in my story: Years ago I had nightmares about being in exile. In my dream I would get on a plane and travel to a country, usually to Amsterdam, where the memories of my childhood live. I would suddenly be wandering around in my childhood neighborhood, and after a while, and ever so slowly, would come to the realization that I don’t have a return ticket home, and the anxiety would come like darkness does, creeping and relentlessly. Palpitations. Wake up! We’re fine. We’re home, safe. Dreams are not necessarily true, just fears. Fears are illusions, right?
Here is the disturbing part: … childhoods are just foundations, right? Lives are built on them, though. Millions and billions. An entire world population. Build on childhoods. Childhoods we should free ourselves from, as of our parents’ issues.
Today, Phoebe decided to take another direction and head north. I have this thing with wind directions and the compass. I don’t always ‘feel’ it. On the island many times, directions are explained by the notion of where the winds comes from, North, south and so on. You see I live somewhere ‘pabou di’ a sports field. I learned it by heart, just to explain people where I live. But really, I don’t know where I live. I just walk the dogs.