On an exquisite Saturday this past week I was privileged to witness one of the most sublime, beautiful Bahamian sights I can recall. Allow me to set the scene.
Being lucky enough to live with the view of the Marsh Harbour harbour (for the time being) I take every chance to enjoy it as much as possible. So late Saturday morning I am on my back porch with my second cup of coffee and a book (the latest Stephen King). My mission that morning: relax. A busy couple weeks were coming up.
Now I’m going to remind you this Saturday morning was incredibe. A flawless Abaco postcard. It was a clear skies, flat calm kind of day. I could have heard someone whisper in Dundas Town from straight across the harbor. That’s how calm it was.
Between sips of my coffee (black if you ever feel inclined to buy me a cup) a small boat with a family, not sure if locals or tourists, were stalking a pod of dolphins that were lazily making their way over the shallows. Whether you have never seen dolphins play or if you’re a tenured marine scientist I can’t imagine these magnificent mammals ever lose their majesty. So that, right there, was a nice enough treat.
I settled back down to continue reading and while contemplating a third cup of coffee a familiar beat roused me from the pages. Glancing back at the harbour I witnessed a ballet. A ballet set to a Junkanoo beat.
Three boats, each representing something Bahamian, were in motion on the still water.
The first: a crawfishing vessel lurched slowly along in the background with its run-around boat in tow. Crawfishing is the backbone of our fishing industry and a familiar sport, a shared heritage for all Abaconians.
The second: a speedboat of musicians, I was not sure who they were or where they were going but the goatskin drums they were beating was unmistakable. It was a joyous cacophony the quiet morning easily accommodated.
The third: visiting boaters, surfboards and scuba gear strapped to the side, made their way to a mooring buoy. Hearing the drums and whistles of the Junkanoo beat from boat number two, the visitors cheered and danced on the bow. Our local boys responded with a more complex rhythm and waved back.
I sometimes in these editorials like to paint a scene or situation and extrapolate some kind of message or parallel to our economy or society. But I think this needs none. It was beautiful in its movement and poignant in its simplicity and timeless in its earnest sincerity. This is what Abaco was and will be.
It is our task to recognize these flashes of simple beauty and to cherish it. It is our charge to protect it. These are not just postcard moments, these are real moment and they are ours to share.