Time changes ever so quickly. It’s already 10 months that I have spent getting to know Jamaica; and now I am wondering, will I ever be able to live away from my new home? Will I be able to peel myself off and walk away from something that has become part of me?
Just when my time is nearing the end, is when I feel so in love, and so connected to this island. This past week, we celebrated Ash Wednesday. While this holiday marks the beginning of lent; for me, it was a chance to get away from campus and everything school related, and instead spend time basking in the sun and the sea. I must have lost all inhibitions, because for what seemed like the first time, I was being the wild adventure-loving person I am. I decided to mix and match my two piece bathing suit, let my hair down, and take a dive into the Caymanas Mineral Spring in St. Catherine. The water was so crystal clear, it was like I was surrounded by a big colouful aqua mirror. I was with a small diverse group from my campus residence, each one of us from a different part of the world. My Japanese friends showed me how to flip backwards in the water, my Jamaica friend showed me how to float on my back -I will still need to practice that a little more- and I showed the group how you dive off a rock the right way. When we thought the scenery couldn’t get more beautiful, and the day better; then we drove to the boardwalk beach, about 15 minutes away. It was like we walked on to a movie set.
The sea was a mixture of blue and green; the sand so soft, and the sun shone on me as if I was the star of the show. I laid my towel on the sand, next to my French friend, intending to absorb every bit of the sunshine into my skin. Meanwhile, my Belizean friend found a quaint hut to sit in and enjoy the busy activities at the beach. Our African photographer friend was snapping pictures like the pro he is; so that by the end of the day we had well over 600 pictures of souvenir. No beach trip is complete without a stroll, and this, my American friend organized. For me, it was a hard choice to go walking or lay lifeless in the sun. I needed all that this day had to over; including quiet relaxation. I gave in and went for a friendly scroll; only to be hindered by the bunches of sea moss that has caused the beach to look untidy, which made for an unappealing stroll. Even that didn’t matter. I was in my own world, daydreaming about what life would be like if I could do this forever. I returned to my towel of relaxation, pressed my shades on my nose, and looked up into the blue sky and decided, this is what a perfect day looks and feels like.
When the outing was over, we returned home in the mid-afternoon, back to our tiny rooms; but for me, with a deeper appreciation for this island. There is always something new to do here. Even the simple things are fascinating. What I love about Jamaica is the beauty that can be found everywhere; even in what is perceived to be ugly.
Jamaica has so many layers to unravel that I can never feel comfortable saying I’ve seen it all. Perhaps, that’s why even the locals are still learning about new things to do. I am in love. After my initial 2013 trip, I had to come back. Now, I have been here for 10 months, and still I feel I need more time to absorb, embrace, and explore. I have set a timeline to leave, but in my heart I am unsettled. There’s still more to know, learn about, fall in love with, and do. Jamaica seem to have its own reason for not wanting be to leave; the reason I have not yet been told. So as the months to departure draws near, my heart is growing more attached and my roots are extending deeper and deeper to its origin. When my time is up, someone wilI need to ply me away from this eternal love, the one between Jamaica and me.