Every night I sit in the house with the door open, most nights, early, there is activity and sounds of people going about their business. Some times I understand the sounds, others not, music whixh is a constant in my neighborhood from Reggae, to Church, to Jazz, the animals , the sounds coming from other folks home as they do what's needed to finish and enjoy the rest of their day.
I've either cooked and served dinner, had dinner prepared for me, the dishes done, floors swept, kitchen clean. Most times it's the computer, some nights watch TV, or sit on the veranda, or if it's early enough sit and read a book watching the traffic, human and machine pass my door. As the evening gets later the sounds of all around penetrate the barrier of being busy to a vegetative state of pure Satisfaction, as I sit and meditate and reflect on the day, yesterday, tomorrow and the distant future. I'm making a plan for some things I might want to do in the near future.
Being retired and living in one of the most laid back places in the world, I find so many more choices, so many vibes, so much more to do, but when and at what pace I want it to be. Should I take a local bus, rent a car, get a charter, take the big bus. to go to which ever corner I choose to explore. Back in July Lynette and I decided to take several late afternoon and evening rides to No Where, courtesy of Mr. T in the areas around Negril, if we've had dinner we get drinks and ride, leaving the route in his capable hands. A really good driver, person, entertaining and very generous in sharing his past, and reasoning. He has some back road trails that make an evening drive being enjoyed by a couple of friends a Joyful thing. If we've not had dinner he knows where some cook shops with some very tasty yard food.
I also like that even though I am not sure of long term, however long that is. I have some preferences now, big town, little towns, concrete, board.country, city. I still want to enjoy the big and the little things, try hard, and I mean really hard to not let the negativity, drama and stress others want to peel off them selves and lay at your feet get any where near me.
I look forward to everyday, sometimes my day starts 2 hours after the last one ended, but the fact that I still have not committed to a structured anything says a lot for my state of mine. I worked in Social Service and next was a Union Official which I hope explains my reluctance to do it now. Being someones Advocate is not always a smile and thank you, most times folks are not pleased with you because, they did not get their way, are not pleased with the outcome, or feel you are just plain incompetent or too lazy to do what it takes to win. And you have to explain why they don't stand a chance in hell of winning their case.. And I just feel that if I sink in to any level my time will no longer be mine.
Each One Teach One, Help, one person at a time, so I find myself on a smaller scale treading wata in the extending out too far in other people's bussiness. Unobtrusive, there if needed, but out of the way.
I've learned, that in this culture it takes time to build up to the interest of trust, and that you are observed, critiqued, and basically run through the neighborhood committee before you ever get to first base. Folks want to know all there is to know about you, but are tight lipped when it comes to their business. This is as it should be. So if you want to fit into groups other than men, your driver, the guys on the beach, vendors, your best bet as a woman is to be more receptive of the Jamaican women I find most, ignore.
I've enjoyed being in an environment similar to the way it was, that neighborhood closeness and unity in everyone being equal in the fact of no one being any better or worse off than the people around you. For me not quite as poor, but not too far off. Same stock as my childhood. On the one side country, simple living and people, everyone eats from the pot. Over there on the countryside anyone at your yard when you share the food sits and eats under your table. Simple, everyone gets a bite till food finished. Same type of sharing as we did back then.
Watching and being a part of the day to day of from 1 year old Jazz, to 2 year old RJ, Chloe, Edward, Fine, Iris, Boisey, Barry O, so many interesting people, sitting in your yard and spending time getting to know your neighbors and the friends and relatives, or walking through your District and being checked out as the new person in the midst of families and friends who go back 4 generations, all still living in the same spot for all these years. Most times there are gatherings that include from the new born to the elders, still giving wisdom to their flock a time enjoyed by all. During the six months I was Country side, we went to it seemed 2 Nine Nights a month, which is a Jamaican Tradition of Nine Nights of Fellow shipping with Family and friends of the Deceased, the saddest for me was two young men with families who were struck by lightening. I hadn't heard of such for over 30 years. So Bizarre.
It's nice walking through the District and having people know who you are because of who your folks are and then later, having them know you for you. Know your name be it 'fattie', 'fluffy' 'big ooman' calling out to you by name as you become a part of the community.