30 Days of Beaches

I moved to the Caribbean because of the water.

I’m not quite a beach bum- ginger status makes me perpetually seek out shade- but I get into my UV 50+ rated swim shirt and plop myself into some gloriously clear, turquoise blue, warm Caribbean water.

Swimming is a spectacular and welcome activity for a ginger that hibernated in Alaska for 8 years. Water I won’t freeze in! I  “squee” like a little girl every time I throw myself under a wave.

Even living somewhere so unique and beautiful, my aspiration of beach time 3-4 times a week is hard. Living on a mountainous island, with no vehicle and a limited road system, can make transportation to the beaches a little tricky. Walking or “hitching” (hitchhiking for the uninitiated) is how I get around this rock.  Hitching is pretty unfamiliar to me. More than just the whole “Oh crap, is this person a rapist?” aspect, I have a couple of reasons to regard hitching warily:

1: It’s like getting picked for the volleyball team in gym class.

There are a couple of places where it’s easy to pick up hitch hikers; not too dangerous, plenty of room to pull over.  We congregate in groups there.  Every time a car goes by we watch carefully, to see if we know the driver, or if the driver looks sympathetic to our plight. I’ve had days when every hitch hiker around me knew someone, and I stood around for 45 minutes watching everyone else secure rides.  I was thisclose to begging “Pick me, pick me!”

2: You must “sing” for your supper.

Someone picks you up. You “Good afternoon!” them cheerfully, grateful to get out of the hot sun. Hopping into their vehicle, they eye you, hoping you’re not drunk/smelly/or dirtier than normal island standards.  As they begin to speed off, the silence in the car grows heavier than the humid air outside.  Feeling awkward, and thankful for the ride, you begin to “sing”. This is my name, this is where I moved from, this is what I do for a living, this is why I love St. John, and finally- the ultimate “I’m running out of things to say!” comment- Isn’t the weather just nice today?  

The weather is nice every day. 

That is what desperation does to you.

Swimming in the Caribbean four times a week can be challenging. My beach days are at an all time low, and I am inspired to do something about it. Because if you live in the Caribbean, and you’re not swimming at the beaches, then what the heck did you move here for? The roosters? Right. The last time I was at the beach I was moved again by all the beauty around me. I forget how much I love being here until I get my butt onto that sand, in that gloriously warm sun [well, that nicely dappled shade].  I look out onto the horizon, watching the sailboats drift by, and am absolutely enchanted.  I have no shame in admitting that I am an Ocean Girl.  Large bodies of water are something I need to feel a little peace. Spending time at the beach is my mental “re-set” button.

I think, I don’t think, I lay down, I snorkel, I read, I run in the surf, I loll about on the towel periodically poking my husband [if he’s with me]-  I revel in the silence.  I just be.  How often can we say that of the moments in our life? I know that when I’m at the beach, I am recharging. I am soaking in, I am waking up.

I am living- and very aware of it.

That’s why I am determined to make my very first month of the “30 Days of Living”  series all about the beach.  Because, frankly, down here- that’s what it’s all about.  It will be uncomfortable: hiking, hitching and generally living outside of my comfort zone, to succeed with this 30 day challenge.

But, my friends-  we have only this one life to live.  Seize the day, seize the month; seize your life!  Take it back, and fill it with all of the beauty that your life has to offer you.



What gives you peace?



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One Comment

  1. Like what I am seeing, all the best to you and Rob, stay in touch and remember “the journey is the reward”.
    It is getting warmer up here in Anchorage and the sun is a beautiful site to see, Marion and I are layering up and go out for our runs and dog walks, thinking a beach run would sure be nice…….

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