Could there be a more perfect last day? I would assume it would just be a drive from home to the airport- as it generally should have gone. Instead Jamaica gave me a thank you gift by revealing its beauty to me one last time.
Emancipation park, located in Kingston, is such a lovely place to relax. It’s a place where newlyweds come to take pictures, where school’s will take a day trip, even where couples might come to share a romantic evening. It is laced with trees and flowers and benches. Small sound boxes are camouflaged in the park, you can hardly notice them but for the sound of music that emanates which creates for a lovely ambiance. This is where I spent my last few hours.
I arrived into Kingston before 9am and I walked from halfway tree to the park. Pictures were taken, conversations were shared and in general Jamaica made me feel appreciated. Jamaica was happy to have me and is now sad to see me go. The morning sun was warm and pleasant on the skin, the breeze filled the air with coolness. I observed Jamaica one last time and thought about the future- “when will I see you again?” It was hard to believe I was leaving this experience behind to go back to reality. I couldn’t see anything but the moment. Even when I saw that it was well after 11am- already I was in the park for more than two hours! I was not in any panic. I suppose I’ve been in these situations before where It seem that I’m going to miss my plane but everything always works out in the end. The truth is, waiting in the park was so much better than waiting at the airport.
It was almost 12pm when I arrived at the airport. The sign on a large billboard along the way reads, “Please come back”. That made me smile. Jamaica realized that I did not succumb to its appealing beauty and was now pleading for me to return. Boarding started at 12:35pm. This part of the airport is beautiful. I could not help but stop to read some of the lovely posters along the hall towards the gate. As I am reading the posters in the design of a postcard, I see that there were other visitors that felt the same about Jamaica. It is so much more than beaches and resorts. There is so much to do! When you leave, you are already anticipating when you’ll return. Jamaica does that to you with all its charms. You ultimately make the decision before you leave that you want Jamaica to be part of your life in the future.
So there I was walking towards the airplane, still oblivious to the fact that I’m going to another country, my home. I never revisit a country but Jamaica probably would agree that it’s different. This is not just a country, it’s a home. It welcomes you on your arrival- whether you are a resident, a visitor or someone like me (an inbetweener) it intends for you to actually feel at home and will not object if you choose to make it just that.
You have to wonder now, why then do so many others want to leave?