This musing was inspired by Tatto Charlie, regarding Romance in Jamaica.
I came across something that I wrote 6 years ago and realised that nothing has changed, my heart still feels the same way.
Slithering to the front of the auditorium at a community center in St. Louis, going to the podium and declaring" Hello my name is Orbra and I am a Jamachoholic and I don't care who knows it".
I had been to Jamaica three times that year and it was just April, and I was looking for any excuse to return. Because after 20 years of going to Jamaica, I finally GOT IT...... Love.. Love for Jamaica. I realised that it was not about anyone, or anything in particular it was about breathing in that smell you can only get from the waters surrounding Jamaica. About the way the sun feels and smells on your skin as you walk the streets of Jamaica, not even the sweet caresses of a gifted lover can make you feel as loved as the lyrical finger tips and being engulfed in the arms of the breezes of Jamaica.
Its about walking up and down every road you encounter be it the hillsides in the country, or the streets of Negril, or the mountains in Kingston, walking so far that your legs ache and then walking even further because you don't want to miss a thing, eyeballing and soaking up everything you encounter, putting it in that computer chip in your Soul so that you never forget anything, because even if you have a camera or camcorder, you still want to remember how it FELT to experience each memory.
It is about stopping in a bar or restaurant and having a lovely meal and wonderful conversation with your waiter, the barkeep and Locals buying them a drink or two getting to know them and letting them get to know you being invited into places they consider special and being allowed to share their private Joy. It is about knowing that people are the same no matter where you are from and that sometimes a Smile, a Hello and a Thank you are the price of admission.
Its about riding with your favorite cabbie and listening to the music coming from his car stereo and listening to his beautiful voice as he explains the beauty of his country and why contrary to popular belief, all Jamaicans are not trying to flee Jamaica, that the majority of them love their country and would never leave. Also all of them are not looking for a foreign mate to rescue them.
If you listen to the music you will hear their love of country, their Women, their Men, their Children an the unity of their people, Period. Stop talking and listen because when you are there it is not about you, its about the warm and engulfing embrace of our beloved Jamaica.
As a Black Woman born and raised in US when I am in Jamaica I experience a love for me that I have never felt at home and it is the reason that I encourage friends and family who are planning a vacation to come to Jamaica and feel aright. There is nothing like that feeling, it has nothing to do with the romance of any one person or thing, it is about all things Jamaican. There is no way to describe this love I have, it just is. And for that love I am grateful. Its about being embraced by a place that embraces you as the Special Person you always knew you were.
Most of these thoughts were felt by me April 24, 2004 at 3:00 am in the morning, the day when I had the epiphany of how much I love Jamaica. The ironic or blessed thing is that I still feel the same way today. I hope that never changes. Back then it was all about Ochi with day trips and adventures. Now, I live in Negril, but I travel to all parts of the Island, each one has a different flavor but they are all the same, hey its Jamaica, and most days I would rather sit across the street from the Corner Bar, on Easy Rock Sues veranda, on a bar stool at Catcha, or Bar B Barn on a mountain top or hillside in Ochi, Negril, or Kingston, than to be in a place, that were it not for my Family I would never return to.
Tatto Charlie asked if anyone has had Romance and wanted to hear about romances that were successful, well I think my story fits, but probably not what he meant.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”