Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Building memory

It rained yesterday. Soft gentle drops that wafted in and out like a breeze through an open window for a brief and refreshing moment and then it was gone.

I was in the water.

Lying on my back, my face turned up to the sky, my ears submerged beneath the surface.

I call it the 'angel pose.' I lie on my back, ears submerged and draw my arms up and down, up and down along my torso, like angel's wings floating gracefully in the air. Weightless, I listen to my breathing. Inhalation. Exhalation. In. Out. My breath echoes in my head. Other-worldly. Sonorous. All other sound recedes to a distant murmur of memory as I focus on this moment, right now, in which I exist in perfect harmony with my environment. Silky water streams across my skin. My body rises and falls to the swell of the ocean. That rich and deep atmosphere that carries me effortlessly in its arms.

And then, yesterday it rained as I floated, angel pose extended upon the water. Tiny pinpricks of water falling from the sky, they peppered the water's surface with a beautiful tympani of sound resonating throughout my mind and body.

Pure delicious sound! Utterly delightful.

We are building memories to last a lifetime here. Like a coral reef forming around one solitary polyp upon the bed of the ocean, my memory reef began with one single moment, our arrival on this island paradise. Like the reef, nourishing itself, replenishing itself, building itself up, each element essential and vital to the structure of the reef, each segment alive and beautiful in its formation, my reef grows more rich and vibrant with each passing moment. New moments attach themselves and memory deepens. Flowers emerge. Colours vibrate and memory comes alive. You can't change a memory, only enrich it, enliven it and develop it with every passing moment spent reveling in the wonder and joy of being alive in this moment in paradise.

Last night at dinner, I told my companions, "This is one of those moments where you just want to stop time, to stop its constant passing-by, to have more time to soak up the essence of the moment, to immerse yourself in the wonder of this place where we are, at one, with the world around us."

We were at dinner at The Cliff. A beautiful, seaside restaurant that sits on a slight promontory of rock overlooking the waves that rolled into shore in a constant swirl of sand-tossed breakers and frothy foam tipped surf.

Torch lights shone in the dark-night. Candles glowed in wrought iron wall-sconces that lined the open-aired walls of the restaurant. The staff floated throughout the room, anticipating diners wants, tending to their needs.

We sat on the deck, the beach beneath us, the surf pouring relentlessly against the sand. We laughed and chatted and teased and shared our meals and gratitude for being together for this special time.

We had dressed up especially for the occasion. Sleek expanses of silk and glitter-strewn chiffon, white diaphanous organza, the men in linen and cotton.

Andy wanted to treat us all to a special night out, and it was. Very, very special.

There is something about eating outside on a warm sultry west Indies night. Sounds are richer. Touch more sensitive. Tastes more round and sensuous and succulent and full.

I had a Tuna Tartare that truly, if I never taste tuna again, I would have no regrets. Along with the prerequisite wasabi this tartare was enlivened with watercress and arugula and cilantro and tiny bubbles of red caviar that burst in your mouth releasing primarodial memories of a time when we were part of the ocean of life teeming all around us. And of course, it was perfectly balanced with that ubiquitous island spice that graces every island dish -- that rich and zesty seasoning that I have grown to crave.

For my main course, I had snapper perfectly cooked in a white wine sauce that effortlessly slid across my tongue, caressing every taste bud as it passed over. The snapper rested on a bed of creamy mashed potatoes and spinach and it truly was, 'to die for'.

It was a night of pure, perfect, delight.

And I was not alone in the sensual enjoyment of the meal. Each of us were convinced that what we had chosen was the best, the most perfect item on the menu.

Perhaps it was not the food but the atmosphere, the glowing skin, the laughter of friends, the sharing of forkfuls of spice laden meals and the absolute joy of sharing the night immersed in a friendship that is deep and lasting, founded like coral upon the white skeleton of a founding principle of life -- it is always best shared with those you love.

It was a lovely night. A night to remember. A night to caress and explore and wander through for time to come.



Maureen said...

Your approach to life echoes throughout this post. I'm hungry just reading your description of your dining experience (cannot call it "dinner").

S. Etole said...

a memorable night indeed ... and you take us there with you

Joyceann Wycoff said...

I'm delighted for you!

Anonymous said...

Hi Louise - I forgot you were off on your holiday. I read that you are having a glorious time.
DD comes home tonite for the weekend as big lil' CJ has a tournament this big sis is here to cheer him on! See you jd xo