One of the things that’s beautiful about Barbados, is how greenery makes up a big part of the scenery, even in commercial areas.
Now, whether that’s recognized, appreciated, or celebrated, is a whole other thing, but from observation while along walks and drives around the island, you’ll at some point pass gifts in creation: pretty flowers 🌸, tropical trees 🌴 and blue beaches 🌊 (except for St. George and St. Thomas that are nestled in the middle of the map 🗺 so there aren’t any beaches in those parishes, yet still not far away.)
It’s not uncommon to see a well-manicured garden on the outskirts of an industrial building, but it is a rare sight to see people actually enjoying the ambience that’s been provided as an invitation to have an outdoor lunch 🥙 or meditation moment while at work.
There’s not much of a bench-vibe in general, except in the national parks and some sea spots; that’s something that I think would welcome more people to pause for a serenity moment during an otherwise fast-paced day. Serenity over stress any day, I say! Stress kills but serenity refreshes!
Many assume that because you live on a beautiful island 🌴 you’ve got no cares in the world, when stress is actually a global monster everyone’s threatened with at some point…which makes serenity even more important to our well-being. It’s also on each of us to tend to our soul and monitor our daily attitude and outlook on life, and there are plenty of ways to do that when we take time to appreciate what we’re gifted with. Whether we’re in the sun ☀️ or the snow ❄️ serenity is a non-exclusive possibility that we can find and experience.
Today, I decided to take a brisk walk to go pay a bill (sounds like fun already, ent?) Well, it turns out that it’s a bank holiday (who knew?! Thought that was tomorrow.) As I was approaching the commercial zone, the magnificent blue sky with its cotton clouds 🌌, accompanied by a bright flash of flowers 🌺 , view of a massive rare tree 🌳 , and an upcoming mosaic mural all combined to catch my attention amidst passing cars.
Next up is the Baobab tree. This massive (and nationally persevered) baobab tree is one of 2 on the island. I think I’ve actually seen another or a very similar tree in a forest-part of the countryside but lemme get back to you on that one after checking.) The baobab is originally from Africa. This one stands tall in Warrens, and the other’s in Queens Park. Apparently, Barbados is the only Caribbean island to have baobab trees – tiny island – big trees.
Above, morning glory dancing in the breeze against this beautiful mosaic masterpiece that must’ve been made by a patient visionary or talented team of artisans. (I’ll add the name/s here when I find out ok?)
The pic coming up shows neem leaves from an overhanging tree, decorating the mural.
Creatively-delivered public service announcements and calls-to-action.
Encouragement to go-green and garden.
Plastic bags are becoming a problem. Ironically, at one point they were considered a solution. Thankfully, a few proactive businesses like Massy Supermarket stores are sharing awareness about customers’ packaging choices. They even have an eco-friendly shopping bag that you can buy for a decent price and use regularly.
I’ve driven past this mosaic many times before, but ooooo – to slow down and stand by to observe and then walk past it, was a bonus to brighten an already shining day. It’s beautiful and has little reminders embedded along the wall. The pic you saw a scroll or two ago, shows the relation to tidy gullies and clean water. Gullies are the equivalent to mini-forests here, with 20 ft valleys of greenery and often green monkeys. 🐒
There are a nuff gullies around the island, so the littering adds up and is hard to track where many don’t trek…but it’s there building up and in need of care and attention and a social solution. Not to mention, some of the discarded items can collect water and lead to the breeding of misery-making mosquitoes and that’s no fun. Not only is that a health hazard, but it also affects the overall beauty in and refreshment of the environment.
Unfortunately, there’s a lot of illegal dumping in some of them (from beat-up cars to sheets of metal and TVs – you wouldn’t imagine the things you can find in a gully that try to distract you from enjoying the amazing ambience of sunlight ☀️ dancing amidst leaves 🍁 and through trees 🌳. This mosaic mural is right in front of a huge commercial building where nature’s embraced.
When next you’re taking a walk, or even going to the office, make a moment to recognize invitations to find serenity right where you are are.
Invitation: wherever you are, or wherever you go today, heighten your awareness of the gifts surrounding you as well as the ones you encounter…those bright accents of colour, fresh air serene moments that decorate the day and ’cause you to take a deep breath and just give thanks.
Indra is a writer of gratitude notes, songs, scripts, and eBooks. She lives in Barbados, and runs a music publishing and content management business.