The Four Seasons
The fiasco of the Four Seasons Hotel chain near Batts Rock in Barbados, got me thinking.
It is still a work in progress, and hopefully some day it will be completed. The building is going through depreciation as the resort has been an on/off trial of patience and fiscal management to save what was initially a private enterprise. In 2019 Simon Cowell was mooted to have taken an interest in the proposed tourist site, but much happened as we moved into 2020 with no concrete solution and got struck with the Covid-19 ague to tourism.
I love and have loved this section of the beach coastal heritage. I hold fond memories of days evenings and nights passed here. Particularly I remember picnics with my Immigration Department colleagues on our ‘off days’ and this got me thinking of Seasons, and the Four Seasons, as that time was part of one major Season of my life in Barbados. It was the part in which I passed from the School and College social life and team-work, which was the practice field, to that of the adult which was the ‘real thing’. It was too, also a growth and learning curve. I had a more mature level of responsibility, as in to my country, my work-mates, and to myself and grandparents.
The Four Seasons representing the natural weather or climate change that occurs each year. We label them Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall/Autumn. Each one of them could tell a story about us, about our lives, even if we see our life as a continuum and not given to any specific seasonal identifiers. Surely the Seasons affect our creativity. Most certainly they affect and have significant impact on our productivity, and in some cases our mental and physical health.
Weather patterns traditionally ensures that each season is marked by something peculiar to it. Each Season is unique in its universal significance as so too each of us has a universal uniqueness in our significance and appeal, or lack thereof.
Four Seasons of Life?
Can we think of Life as having its own Four Seasons?
Well we could make these out to be 1) Baby/Toddler, 2) Tweenie/Pre-Teen, 3) Young-Adult/Adolescence, and 4) Adulthood.
To stretch a point, we could then say that in Adulthood also, we go through four seasons: Independence, Co-Dependence or Affairs, Provider/Caregiver/Homeowner, and then latterly, Dependent; and that these are closely tied to financial and health indices. Like the Weather patterns in Nature, each such Season in our life will be marked by something peculiar to it.
Reflect on this a bit, and come up with your own personalised Four Seasons of Life as a way of ordering your reflections on your life’s journey. You may decide to add it to your well-being toolbox of discovery.
After reflecting, you may want to share your story. You can share in the comments section below. And why not write a tale or two to share with friends and loved ones at your next get-together?
Our greatest time traditionally for stories was Christmas. Stories of Christmases past, of dreams and failures, of plans and births, of food and cooking cock-ups, of culture and habits, of weird relations and straight laced fearsome aunts, of soft spoken gentle great great grannies and strong stiff backed great great great grandfathers. Stories of remembered friends and long gone neighbours or village characters. Just plain old stories, not meant really to teach but nevertheless full of clues and tips about life. And laughter.
Another special time for the story-telling was at Birthdays when celebrated. I grew out of the desire for a ‘birthday party’ quite early on even though I enjoyed those given for others. However, the ritual was somewhat forced upon me for my 21st, (a surprise party which I got wind of and went for a long walk as the time came for it to commence – I minded my ways and went back home to be duly ‘surprised’) and I have ever since wondered often of what would have happened if had just kept on walking. It was such a painful, solemn occurrence as it turned out. Deep profound discussion and a speech or two and I was given “The Key”. A model of it was also hanging from the ceiling over the festive area (read dining room table covered in goodies) which literally went straight to my heart in a most serious way, hitting me hard with the FACT that I was now 21 and no longer allowed to ‘please myself’ -as if I ever really could before then anyway.- I felt cheated, and it was Uncle Doc who engaged me in profound discussion as only he could. I was told a story.
“For everything there is a Season…” Know your ‘season’. Weather your ‘storms’.
As a result of the normal social rituals being a time to tell tales, a great deal of what I learnt came more from stories and anecdotes than from formal means of teaching. Why? Because it was more fun, it was more personal, it had purpose and meaning and related to our particular circle of friends enemies and clan. This made it familiar and therefore not a ‘learning’ exercise. Some of the tales were in song too, or little ditties that made them memorable.
An Irish Tradition involves Mummers telling tales.
Think of how you can make story-telling a part of your customary rituals (e.g. at Birthdays, other Anniversaries and Dinner Parties) if you do not already do so. After all, parables fables and home-spun factual tales might be the saving grace of our moral and intellectual development in today’s displaced world.
“Even if one has no material possessions, we may gift each other with beautiful, moving stories…” – Ruth H. Hopkins
Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons the music group responsible for one of my favourite songs, a greatest hits number, called December ’63. It never fails to get me dancing. “O what a night, late December back in ’63…” and that in itself is a tale!
The apparent decay of the Four Seasons Hotel dream takes nothing away from the natural awesomeness of the Batts Rock area.
With the refurbishment of the NCC building and the pathway, Batts Rock is back on the map .