03
Apr
09

a long caress-yoga on the bluff

windy sky

windy sky

path to silky black sand cove

path to silky black sand cove

Here I am in Jamaica. Today is the morning of day five. It is 7:30 a.m. and I’m sitting on the edge of my bed in my brother’s family house in Kingston. When I stepped off the plane in Mobay, I had a distinct feeling that this time I was really coming home. I don’t recall ever feeling it so keenly. The corridors of the airport felt welcoming and the hard tile was warm under my feet. By the time I got to Treasure Beach twenty-four hours later, I was already 100 percent of the way relaxed; it felt like I’d never left. The South Coast is made up of a series of small fishing villages with silky grey volcanic sand and fossilized rock. The wind (Jamaicans diminutively call it a “breeze”) is a constant companion; you either make it your friend or you’ll find yourself grumbling a lot. I can still feel sand behind my eyeballs.

It’s only a part-timer though which is good because it can start to feel like you’re being bounced around and battered. The wind (Jamaicans diminutively call it a “breeze!) dries out my skin and my contact lenses. At my age one doesn’t welcome dryness easily no matter where it appears.

yoga on the bluff

yoga on the bluff

Yesterday I tried walking using the direction of the wind to guide me. The goal was to keep it at my back.Where might it want me to go? Before long I was overcome with a bolt of optimism and hope, I felt my chest lift and open. The wind had curved it’s way into the hollows of my back and shoulders, gently fluttered around my neck and ears. I was being led, pushed along from behind, all the way to the bluff. Salt water sprinkles pricked my face and arms as the waves pounded the rocky side below. When I stopped, the wind carried on, teasing and playing the fool. I laughed. I sang and felt my words disappear like windswept sheet music.

The wind had led me to a small grassy area, not much bigger than a yoga mat. Perfect.

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“If stories come to you, care for them. And learn to give them away where they are needed. Sometimes a person needs a story more than food to stay alive.” —Barry Lopez
“‘Thou shalt not’ is soon forgotten, but ‘Once upon a time’ lasts forever.” Phillip Pullman

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