Barbados is my home. It is where I grew up. I cannot stress this sufficiently.
It is here that I was nurtured, natured, cossetted, disciplined, loved, educated, taught, fell in and out of love, had my heart broken and mended, broke hearts (don’t know if they were mended) forged lasting friendships, was treated well and not so well at times, discovered that one could have enemies, found out about a lot of scary-ish tales fables and myths, learned to ride a bike, taught Sunday School and danced every weekend in my favourite discos and clubs, had my first real job…..
I love its beaches, its houses, its trees, land, water, its people…
Every time I went away, this island called me back. Yes, the island called me back. Weird. It tugs at my heart-strings. When I left its shores the last time, the pull, the call was so strong as to be almost physical. Yet I stayed away, for reasons yet to be sanely explained, for twenty-five years; all the while yearning and feeling like a ‘fish out of water’. The longing is brutally painful.
I grew up hearing how my island home is blessed. Never being devastated by hurricane or storm. My grandparents and some others would regale me with stories of Hurricane Janet, and I myself experienced one ‘storm’ where we had all the windows boarded up and whose damage was relatively minimal. Except to my backside which got whopped as I could not resist going out (sneaking out) in my grandfathers big coat and my not too sturdy shoes to be part of the Weather. It was the fiercest I had ever seen and I had just to ‘feel’ it. I couldn’t do that properly from indoors. When I got back home I got my tail whopped. I had not been afraid and did not think anyone else really was. I was not aware, though I knew, that a piece of flying galvanise could decapitate you, or worse.
So yes they were afraid in case the roof flew away. They were afraid that if it lasted to long we would run out of food. They were afraid there would not be enough fresh water. They were worried about their friends and what was happening to them. Then I just up and go out in the storm, to explore. Oh I got a beating. I guess they had to release all that extra anxiety I caused them in some way. But why my bottom? Could they not have kicked a table or punched a wall?
Barbados reportedly sits nestled in the Northern and Western Hemispheres , just north of the Equator, somewhere above South America. Its location seems the reason for its being “blessed”. No major Hurricane since that Janet in 1955, which was a bit freakish as apparently Janet like all the others before and since, went by to cause problems elsewhere; but then she decided to change her course, backtrack, and lick Barbados something good.
Another “blessing” Barbados has is that the Sun rises here first. Don’t ask!
Barbados has no States, Boroughs or Precincts, but is instead divided into Parishes. There are twelve of these Parishes, of which eleven bear the names of Saints and the other being Christ (‘s) Church. I have no idea who named the Parishes but I have always considered it somewhat significant to our Heritage and therefore our Future.
Here is a map of my island home.
I hope you’ll come visit one day.