Change of Season

Another note from the island…

There is a new moon over the sea this evening. The slim, cream-colored crescent slices deftly to the now. The present. Cruise ship intrusions are mostly finished lending to quieter streets, less downtown riff raff, and our best beaches are absent of the hordes of sun lotion-slicked bodies that are mostly overweight. It is now that our sweet island tempo begins its return.

Gone also are the snowbirds, those clever, temporary residents who flee the north and its biting winter cold.  A number of them are our friends.  John and Brenda flew out weeks ago only to land on Polynesia for more island indulgence.  Val and Pam postponed their return to Canada for a couple of weeks since their Algonquin lake cottage was still covered by copious amounts of snow. But they finally took off last weekend.  Gert Jan and Henne stowed their beautiful, sleek tender ashore only to return to Holland and launch their sailboat for the Dutch summer.  Arrrrrrgh.

So now we mix more with our local friends.  They were always here.  We certainly met during the winter season, but probably less so than the rest of the year.  Unfortunately, some are not doing so well.  I attended Doie Diaz’s funeral over the weekend.  Hundreds showed up.  Doie was one of the last old school fishermen who passionately sailed and then later motored the sea in search of fish.  On land, he didn’t slack off with the hunt as evidenced by the number of offspring with blood lines to the captain.  Women really loved Doei. So did many others. And Renee, snorkel queen and a sailor who never left, will be dying this week.  A terminal disease is making her say goodbye.  I gave my adios to her a couple of days ago. She and her husband built a boat in South Africa and went on a voyage back in the 1990s.  They landed here and never left.  He died years ago from cancer.  Now Renee sets sail to ports unknown.

But life on the island marches forward.  The tropical mocking birds serenade me everyday with their sonatas of song.  Goats breed and boisterously bleat through the hills.  And the parrots squawk at me on fly-bys with good-natured humor. My cat, Pirate, who is now approaching eleven, curls next to me whenever I am still. Her contented purr is comforting. And the beat goes on.