Sunday, March 11, 2012

Driftwood and Undertows

Oh Lawd! Last week I wrote my post in 10 minutes…it came easily. This week I am struggling to say something I want to say.  Let me try once more…and once more now that I am back from the beach..

Sometimes the beauty of a thing is made by the rough and tumble that it’s been through.  

I believe wholly that there is beauty that comes from the hardships in life – the rough and tumble. I even believe that the rough and tumble has its own joys – the deep kind of happiness you get from realizing you can get through a lot of what life throws at you and emerge better at the other side.

There are losses of course, along the way – a certain innocence and trust that you end up letting slip through reluctant fingers, but there are things to be gained also – like driftwood, you come out smoother and lighter than you went in, able to float where once you might sink.

But granted, a bit worn…and wanting to rest on that sandy beach perhaps!

Recently I have been harshly reminded of how ‘wrong’ things seem to be going in parts of our society – some our youth seem to live in a reality that is totally divorced from the playful family time I saw on the beach today; they seem to think that the rough and tumble is the be-all and end-all of life – that the rougher the better. They seem to mistake all their rights and miss out on the genuine power of taking responsibility…they seem lost in a rip-tide that’s pulling them down and they seem oblivious to any danger that we might believe they are in.

I say some of our youth, but in truth, it is the adults too – the community that used to raise a child, now watches on, eyebrows raised, ‘eh-eh! You see what that person chil’ doing?!? Hmmh!’ They don’t call the child aside, don’t call the parent; lips remain sealed lest the ro-ro show stop or worse still, lest they be accused by the child of ratting them out…what is this?
 Skip back to an alternate scene: this full moon, on Thursday, my friends and I took a couple pick-ups across to the wild East coast of St. Lucia, to Donkey Beach and I was transported back to my teenage years – ‘suicide diving’ into the waves and spending hours buffeted by salt water and sea breeze…relaxing in the ‘spa’ at the northern end of the beach where the rocks made a shallow channel and the water flowed softly over your wave-tired body. It seems like yesterday that we whiled away those summers…we had it easy in our day…we had issues to deal with, sure, but there were checks and balances then that allowed us to be young in a softer way…allowed us to like life beyond the raging hormones and teenage need to let parents know who’s in charge. Now for some, it seems like nothing is extreme and nothing can tame the undertow that carries some of our kids under, away from the simpler, softer, silly laughter and bone-tired wave-washed joys of life.
Silly fun back in the day at Donkey Beach
Nothing seems to speak to them – not punishment, not open-armed love, not trust, not fear of sickness, being outcasts or even death. Sometimes it seems like the worse, the better. And the adults just look on.
Is this a rough and tumble that they will come out of with any kind of beauty? I wish I knew, I wish I could see a path beyond. I fear that they’ll end up more like the worn out plastic bits and pieces that litter the beaches than the driftwood that has a beauty gifted it from its journey. 

Worth a note here is a local group of young professionals, the Wellness Innovators, have created the ‘I am Beautiful’ campaign. I’m not sure even they could get through to some of the kids that inspired this post, but nonetheless, the fact that they exist inspires hope.

The group is NGozi, a young talented singer and nurse, Dr Matthew, a young Cuba-trained doctor with a vision of holistic health and Felicia Montoute – a young Dental Hygienist… they are a small group with a good message…

Perhaps if more of us took on this kind of work we could turn some of all this into well-worn beauty  - what do you think?

Moon Watching

Juxtaposed, wildness and the cruise ship

I'm told the fire has a healing energy....