Bajan Beach Life for me is a must. An all-encompassing experience for continued health and well-being. It has been so from some time before my fifth birthday when my great-aunt “Ollie” introduced me to the joys of early morning beach going.
The pleasures of the morning walk, just she and I, under the opening sky of Sunrise. The smells, the quiet, the breeze, the … silence… given a rhythm by our footsteps that made my heart sing and me smile; the confidence, the secure feeling that I was not alone in the world; that she was there along with the Universe, nurturing, teaching, loving me.
That first morning I shall always remember. It was life-changing. My first true initiation into independence. My first moment of realization of me, of Self.
We reached the beach. Others were there before us. Some said ‘hi’ and a little friendly chatter made me feel at ease, but impatient to get into the welcoming water bathed in the glow of early Dawn.
We removed our outer clothing and stacked them on the concrete near the closed bath-house. She took my hand again and we walked along the sand to a place where no one else was bathing, though there were close by. She lifted me onto her back with my arms around her neck, and then walked slowly into the Ocean that would become for me like a second home. She dipped a little and stood up again. She went further in and stooped. I felt the cold turn to cool. A splash of water and spray on my face burned my eyes a bit and made me blink. The scent of the sea filled my nostrils and I relaxed. I loved this Sea; this water that caressed and soothed me so.
She stretched out and began to swim, after reminding me to hold on tightly. I held on as she swam a few strokes in and marveled at the flow of water along my body and between hers and mine. I felt comfortable. I felt safe. I was in “heaven”; in awe of the movement of water and body.
Then she dived.
I held on tighter than tightly, my eyes burning, heart pounding, nose twitching with a desire to inhale.
I do not know how I knew to not breathe. I do not know how she knew I would be exhilarated. Did she know?
She knew, or maybe she somehow felt from my body and stiffened arms, when it was time to surface.
She surfaced just as I was preparing to gulp down that ocean.
She surfaced. Swam towards the shore. Then planted her feet, stood and untied my little arms from round her neck, and holding them in her hands walked with me still on her back further towards the shore. She stooped so I could feel the (now) warmth of the sea, then she carried on. Near the shore she went down on her knees, which allowed me to be gently released onto the bubbles of water and sand that made the beginnings of the shore-line. I came back to Earth.
We walked hand in hand back to where our clothes were lying. She gathered me close and dried me off and helped me to get dressed. Then she arranged herself. She waved at some people in the water; and we began our twenty-five minute walk back home. The Sun was up and I was floating. I think if she had been not holding my little hand, I would have floated up into the air.