The birds are back. Our tiny avian friends who throughout our two week stay have fluttered in and out and around the house were not visible yesterday. They too had hunkered down. Found safe retreats to weather out the storm.
This morning, they're back. The mongoose too. They weren't frolicking on the grass or trying to use the house as a freeway from one side of the compound to the next. Today they're back.
And I am happy.
Sometime early this morning, the rain stopped. The sea has found its rhythm again. Its ceased gyrating like a fairground ride and stopped throwing massive waves against the shore chomping away at the coral that holds this island together.
But there is devastation all around. All over the island and right here on the property. Branches on the ground. Debris litters the patios and decks and lawns. There's a giant sink hole at the edge of the seawall at the base of the giant tree that stands guard at the edge of the property. The hole appeared sometime yesterday afternoon. It wasn't big. But it kept growing. Pounded at by the inexorable force of the sea battering it into submission.
This morning, the sink hole is big enough to put a dining room table into it. The cement that was poured so hopefully years ago in an attempt to keep erosion at bay is exposed. Water flows freely beneath it undermining the integrity of the wall upon which tourists and Bajans stroll in a constant ebb and flow, from one end of the beach to the other.
And the storm has passed and life flows on.
I checked our flights this morning. The airport is open. We can fly home.
I will miss this island paradise. Miss the gentleness and warmth of its native sons and daughters. Miss hearing the swell of the ocean, the birds twittering all around.
It has been a time of wonder. A time to rest. To play and laugh and share in good friendship, food and wine. It has been a time to sink back into that place within where I am at one with the world around me, flowing in and out on the ebb and flow of the tide.
I go home to my orderly life, my life of work and friends and my daughters and walks with Ellie and laughter and most importantly love.
I carry it with me. It is here on this tiny island in the Caribbean sea. It is where ever I am.
Its force is greater than the winds that blow in on a hurricane's roar, greater than the sea's angry toss.
For in love, I am my greatest, sharing the best of me with the world around me, reflecting the greatness all around me in everything I do and say and am.
In love I leave this tiny island. I leave behind the devastation of a storm that those who call this place home must now clean up afterwards. It may have wreaked havoc with the lands, but it has not defeated their amazing spirits. They will repair the broken walls and downed powerlines and roofs blown away. They will repair the sinkholes and sweep away the debris and through it all they will continue to flow in the beauty of their gentle nature, the graciousness of their island ways. They will continue to be the amazing people I met where ever I went who wanted nothing but to ensure our experience here in their homeland reflected the beauty of this place they call home.
It was a magical time. I shall carry the magic with me as I fly away, back to the land of my birth. With grateful heart and spirits lifted for having spent two weeks exploring the wonders of this tiny island in the Caribbean, I return home richer for having met the people of this island paradise called Barbados.