“Somewhere in my youth, or childhood, I must’ve done something good!”
So goes the song in the Sound of Music movie, in which Maria reflects on the undeserved blessing of winning the love of Captain von Trapp. And so goes the song in our hearts as we reflect on the joy of spending a day on this glorious island — how can it be possible that we are allowed to stay here? Surely the Deserving Police ™ will burst into our apartment and haul us back to the airport, stuffing us on the nearest outbound plane, amidst outraged cries in thick islander accents: “You do not deserve to be here! You must go! Close your eyes, it is not proper for you to see our island!”
Don’t get me wrong. We paid good money to be here, thanks in part to the generosity of our parents. But as we soak in the tropical sun, or float in the body-temperature water, we feast our eyes on the cornflower-blue horizon and the many shades of coral-blue in the water as they contrast with the white of the sands. Every few minutes, our minds circle ’round to this question: “How can it be that God has blessed us to be able to see and experience such beauty?”
Kathy and I have been married twenty years — and they have been some pretty wonderful years. We have some fights and disagreements, but on the whole we have greatly enjoyed growing closer to each other and to our God. As we learned a few years ago, one of the main reasons for marriage is for God to make us holy, as we are continually offered opportunities to serve and love each other, even in adversity.
But we aren’t holy yet, and we feel it keenly, at a place like this. Turks and Caicos should be reserved for those who have arrived at holiness, or at least can see it on a clear day. It just seems wrong for people like us to enjoy a place like this.
Yet somehow we are managing, with only the occasional guilty look over our shoulders. We wallowed in bed until 10:45 am this morning, an accomplishment I have almost never achieved since I was in college.
Kathy rolled over and said to me in a muffled voice, “We should really get up.”
“What time is it?” I asked, mustering almost a microgram of interest in the answer.
“It’s about ten a.m.,” she told me. “Shouldn’t we get up?”
“Yeah, any minute,” I assured her, and promptly went back to sleep.
Eventually, we did get up, and I called the Avis office while Kathy went down to the water to make sure it was still there. Our apartment is at ground level, and our front windows look out onto a ‘yard’ of white sand. Beyond that yard is a path through the tall grasses, and some 40 yards from the house is the beach. And what a beach it is! Stretching miles left and right, there’s nothing but turquoise blue water, white sand, and blue sky as far as the eye can see.
We got our rental car (a stick-shift, but with the wheel on the proper left side) and practiced driving around town on the left side of the road without any major hazards. We found the grocery store and stocked up on food (we plan to cook much of our own food this week) and made it home in one piece. We made lunch and ate on our shaded porch facing the sea.
Spending the afternoon on the beach, Kathy coasted in the water on a float while I read my book in the portable cabana (I’ve been trying to avoid excessive sun, after my skin-cancer diagnosis last winter). We sat and talked in the beach chairs, reading each other snippets from our respective books and reveling in each others’ company.
By 6:30 pm, we were hungry, so we walked the
miles and miles 40 yards back to our villa. Kathy made a salad and a delicious vinaigrette, with some sauteed cauliflower and carrots and chicken breast over her salad. I cooked some smoked pork chop with penne noodles and we both settled in to enjoy our meal in our living room.
It gets pretty hot here, during the day, and our hostess has asked us not to run the air conditioner in the day time, but with the windows open, we get a nice breeze, and it isn’t unbearable. Once the sun went down, we felt free to close up the windows and turn on the A/C — and now we’re quite comfortable, sitting together in the kitchen, side-by-side with our respective laptops.
We’ll be here 8 nights altogether, and I’m sure the time will slip away more quickly than we can imagine. In the meantime, we’ll enjoy this preview of Paradise.