Browns Beach 🏝 in Barbados.
Life on an island means water close by, in some form or another.
Oddly enough, ‘Bim’ is noted as a water-scarce island though it’s literally surrounded by an ocean of water, and decorated with (hopefully still) fresh-water springs but we’ll leave that to another post. Today, we’re talking seawater at one beach along on the outskirts of Bridgetown.
One person’s everyday home is someone else’s idea of paradise. When we take time to appreciate the gifts we’re all granted, we can recognize pockets of paradise right where we are.
For years in a bracket of time, this was my daily swimming spot, and dose of fresh air and sunshine, amidst a barrage of studio sessions, rehearsals, coaching workshops, and gigs before I re-designed priorities and a sustainable life rhythm. Browns beach(Carlisle Beach) visits helped me feel refreshed and vibrant in between all the road travel and long hours on my feet in chilly console rooms and hot vocal booths.
Today, I went for a swim and brought a book to read, somehow expecting to see it either the same, or close to what I knew. Boi-yoing! Wow, this beach has changed!
A once open expanse of sand; a popular spot for paddle ball training, family beach gatherings, and random football juggling is filled with 5 congalines of umbrellas and beach chairs in rows like huge ice trays, and an abundance of boating 🛶 and water sport activities. Red buoys, not to be mistaken for my musical brothers, De Red Boyz outline dipping or swimming zones in the water. It could be due to the fact that today’s a weekday, so I’ll do my best to go on a weekend to have a better understanding of how the beach life here is in general nowadays.
Browns beach is a long expanse of sand and sea, so there’s still there’s room for many as it is now, yet in the midst of a local uproar about nationals being not-so-subtly inched off the shores to accommodate the agenda of upscale hotels who cater specifically to the booming influx of visitors…it’s something to note.
So I noticed that I was the only woman of colour on the entire beach at that time – not the first time in my life being the only one in a crowd having travelled quite a bit…but it’s the first time experiencing this in Barbados. My blood family is a walking Benetton ad, with many shades of faces and nationalities and I’ve observed that we all breathe, bleed and use the bathroom the same no matter what class, colour or creed – God loves us all…so I stayed, sat, read, swam, and exercised…but I noticed it.
Memories of travelling to Jamaica and parts of Cuba and being told there’s a fee for going to the beach, or “we can’t go there” flashed into my mind…and I wondered, “that didn’t happen overnight…must’ve started somewhere. “What were the signs that led to that, and was I witnessing one in motion?
A stroll along the water’s edge is now a bit like being on a sidewalk; the sandy path is so slender you can almost feel the breeze when someone in a beach chair turns a page in the book they’re reading.
At first, I felt a l’il disappointed when I realized that my favourite quiet beach with sparse zones of beach action, is now – a commercial village of about 150 ‘chumbrellas’ (chairs & umbrellas.) Then I quickly remembered that before, a walk along the sand used to involve regularly ducking from footballs sailing past your head at umpteen miles per hour, and dodging little children like a Jack Russell on an obstacle course.
So today, I decided to enjoy it…to take in the ambience and find a place in this new picture of saltwater paradise.
And I found it…through a sense of gratitude for the gift of the sea and renewed eyes of appreciation that noticed how pretty the boats were painted…I found it, as I fed the birds that gathered around to introduce themselves (and check for food)…while walking along the powdery golden sand that filtered through my toes like an hourglass…when I stepped into the cold water and started to swim and warm up in the turquoise salty water…as I opened my eyes underwater, and was face to face with a tiny, friendly fish.
The beach is still BEAUTIFUL, and 🌊 seawater’s super sweet, crystal clear and inviting. I had a sweet swim 🏊♂️ and am so thankful for the many gifts of creation that exist everywhere.
People save for a whole year (and often dream longer) to come to “Bim” and enjoy beaches that take no more than 15 minutes to get to – from practically any part of the island 🏝 As a traveler, there are times when I’m the visitor. We all want and deserve to be welcomed. As the resident, this yet another wake-up call to be thankful and make time to explore and get to know where you’re from. It’s an invitation to be grateful!
A reminder to cherish what we have, look on the bright side of wherever we are, and not take these priceless gifts for granted, but choose to enjoy them to the fullest!
Here’s to health and happiness – whether at home or on holiday!
Have a bright rest of the day, wherever on the map you are. Where is that by the way? Feel free to share in the comments