Monday, April 05, 2004


We finally had a beach day yesterday and, boy, was it needed--for both of us. We've come to realize that spending regular time at the beach makes a marked difference for both of us in how we cope with our daily lives here. It's a much-needed balm and recharger to counteract the stifling boredom of our demeaning and mindless jobs, the isolation from family and friends, the lack of any social life or support network here, the absence of any cultural stimulation, the frustrating ineptitude of public servants (which permeates every area of public life here), etc. A beach day for me feels like I'm plugging into a recharging station to soup up my battery while simultaneously having a spa day.

We lounged and dozed and swam (the water is beginning to warm up). I read the current issue of Yoga Journal cover to cover. (I don't even DO yoga, although I have in the past--but it's a magazine I always enjoy reading.) We have very comfy sand chairs, but sometimes I like to lay my towel on the sand to make contact with the earth for awhile. Something I've really, really missed while living here has been the absence of a yard. We've been in our current condo for three years and we were in two rented houses in the months preceding our move here, but not even the houses had yards. Most homes here don't have lawns. The only place I can lie down now and feel that kind of earth connection is the beach. There's a tiny park next to my office, but once you get past the crazy homeless people and the screaming schoolchildren who like to hang out in it, it's not exactly a relaxing spot to spread out for some lunchtime daydreaming (not to mention that the grass is all brown and scraggly). There aren't parks here like we have in the States. It's something we really miss, especially coming from the Northwest where there are so many gorgeous green spaces. Our island is very lush and green (unlike some in the Caribbean), but we miss parks and rivers and lakes and streams. The ocean is gorgeous in its Caribbean colors and the white sand beaches can be stunning, but everyone needs some variety. It's hard not to take the beauty here for granted when that's ALL you ever see. I miss really tall trees and open spaces and deserts and mountains and distant snow-capped peaks. Being a Californian and having spent most of my life there, I always felt lucky to be from a state that has such a variety of geography--no matter what you crave, it's never far away.

As my brother said to me once when I was complaining about the "Groundhog Day" quality of living here, "Lobster's great...but no one wants to eat it every day." I'm ready to appreciate other kinds of beauty this blue ball has to offer.


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