Wednesday, July 9, 2008

impressions, or something

After 23 hour of travel my my family and I have made it safely to Jamaica.

Jamaica, at least in landscape, reminds of me a bit of Cuba and Puerto Rico. Green green green; gorgeous cliffs, flamboyant trees with rioting orange flowers that seem to have long tongues to catch the rain that falls each afternoon. I arrived exhausted but forced myself to stay awake to enjoy the drive from Montego Bay to Negril.

As soon as we arrived in Negril late yesterday afternoon, I put on my bathing suit and slipped into the ocean. I stayed in the water until the sun set and the moon was a tiny little crescent above the storm clouds. A baptism of sorts, or another. Family lore has it that when I was an infant, my Puerto Rican infant took it upon himself to baptize me in the Caribe so that I would always return. Twenty nine years later, I am back again and feel, as always, a homecoming when I enter the water. Little crabs danced on the shore, moving towards the water then retreating when a wave came. I floated on my back, eyes to sky for hours. It was sublime.

The ten other people I am traveling with are wonderful because they are my family, but it is difficult for me to travel in a herd; taking over restaurants, shouting to hear each other. But I suppose we do that at home too, when we get together. I think my dad feels the same way about group travel. While I was swimming yesterday I saw him escape onto the beach with a beer. A few minutes later I looked up and saw him sitting with a Rastafarian man who had a guitar. They were singing together. No doubt my dad was trying to teach him some Mexican song, music being one of those international languages that exists without need for translation.

Five more or our clan arrive today, with more arriving tomorrow. It should be interesting. It always is.

I ate way too much jerk chicken last night, accompanied by too many Red Stripe beers and slept early and soundly, though I was rattled by odd dreams of oxen attacking. And a place I've never been but I am going to soon.

love love love, lizz. The writing has finally come. It is finally here. I am elated.

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