An increasingly cold and wintry feeling day. Very early this morning, there was snow. It never amounted to anything and was gone without leaving a trace anywhere. Looking up at the sky, I can see that it is filled with a high grey cloud cover. Not quite menacing, but it is depressing. Especially when we know that we are just coming in to the winter season that will be filled with freezing temperatures, high winds, and the inevitability of lots and lots of snow.
The winter boots, hats and gloves, and a jacket that has been tested to withstand temps as low as 40 degrees below zero. And I’m still cold. Slippery driving conditions, ridiculous drivers, shoveling, shoveling some more and some……….
And of course we can’t forget Mother Nature’s wonderful contribution that she makes each year. She spends much of her free time during the summer preparing for this annual landscape redecorating event.
Often times, Mother N visits various part of the country and arrives silently in the dark of night. She seems to find pleasure in watching us wake up in the morning, only to find her handiwork covering everything there is outside. Especially when the “alleged” weather forecasters had no clue. Mother N, you’re quite a lady.
So, that’s all well and good. Winter is here and will be here until at least March. Or even later. Okay. That’s what we’re facing. Swell.
However, there is another sky that I look up at and see a bright blue sky. Perhaps some high wispy clouds quietly floating by. A very gentle breeze to nourish me. The sun is also in this sky I see. It casts its rays of warmth and envelops everything and everyone under it’s glowing mantle.
No winter garb in this land of endless sun. Snow shovels are replaced by pail and shovel. The esthetically beautiful, but difficult to live with, cotton white snow, shows up in the form of warm, refreshing liquid sunshine. Often times, just briefly, in a random day. Seldom lasting more then a few hours.
Dangerous winter driving conditions are no longer a factor on these roadways.
There is a caveat I should mention. While you may not have to suffer with all that Old man winter throws at everyone every year, the driving conditions can, and often do, become dangerously close to “WHOA!! That was close”. No it’s not the snow one needs to be concerned with here on this island. It’s the Jamaican drivers. lol
Once you arrive in this country you will see incredible lush tropical vegetation. Along the road, along the shore line, in the mountains. No barren wooden giants standing strong against the long winter days and nights in this landscape. Their limbs, void of any visible life, now hold only lines of snow. No. Here in this atmosphere, our benefactor Ms. “make everything beautiful” Nature, displays some of her finest work.
Warm trade winds blow hither and yon, rustling the tops of the tallest palm tree. Huge variegated green leaves sway gently to their own unheard rhythm.
Her beauty is undeniable. All across this tiny, almost enchanted isle. Being that it is surrounded by the Caribbean ocean, or is that “sea”, one can gaze out just about anywhere and take in the grandeur of the azure blue/green crystal clear waters. For as far as the eye can see.
Much of the time the gently rolling waters are calm and flat. As each wave reaches the shoreline, it rises up ever so gently, and pats the waiting sand. Then quickly retreating to gain strength for it’s next caress.
Some of the time, the ocean swells with wind and waves. Big waves, at least for Jamaica. They come thundering in towards land. One after another, tumbling over each other as they reach the shore. Now you can hear each one as it throws itself against the sand. Unendingly, the onslaught continues. Each soldier that comes ashore, takes back with them, lots of the sand from the beach. The ebb and flow, here in this bay of tranquility, gives and takes away, builds up land over here, and takes away land from over there. This designing lady does a great job in keeping herself in good shape.
One can spend long, lazy, hours playing in the water or lying on the lounges, absorbing Vitamin D. Aromas of jerk P & C wafting through your nostrils. “Honey, while you’re up, would you mind getting me a couple of Pattees? Thanks”.
Here at this charming “villa”, dress is casual. Only shorts and tees, bathing suits and flip flops. Evening attire is casually elegant. The night air is filled with silently moving currents, that caress you ever so softly. The dark night sky is ablaze with stars. Winking and blinking at us from so far away. The kind of place we may have read about in a book or magazine. The kind of place that one usually, can only dream of.
And dream we do. Often, with great passion. The vivid pictures from a story book, describing a land filled with the abundance of tropical growth, clean running streams and rivers, animals and birds found nowhere else and a climate rich with peacefulness and joy.
Jamaica. You captured our heart and minds and souls, the very first time we visited you, twenty years ago. Your land, your country, and especially, your people, have left a wonderfully indelible mark on our lives. You have enriched us. Comforted us. Replenished our strength. And given us untold treasures of memories that we will relive again and again
So, for at least the next 12 days or so, I can put off being concerned with my winter woes. Leave the shovels in the garage, I won’t even look at a piece of clothing that weighs anymore than a few ounces.
Our friend Andre will meet us at the airport and take us to CTI. My shoes will come off as soon as I get in the car. They will remain off, except for the repeater dinner, until I leave. We’re home. What else could we want?