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A time of renewal…

More than most, this year truly feels like spring, for many of us have already received our first dose of the Covid-19 vaccination, and with it, a renewed chance at life.

Nature is all about second chances. A species may be battered and beaten in one season but rise again in another, and with persistence and perseverance, the species will thrive.

Humans the world over are being given a chance to start anew. What better gift can there be? And what better time than in spring?

I feel so lucky to be given a second opportunity to cherish life. As the years go by, and people you love die, you realize true gems exist in the smallest moments. It’s not about Bucket Lists or Keeping Up with the Joneses. It’s about being grateful to experience what is on offer to you, right this moment, wherever you are and whomever you’re with. If you can find contentment anywhere, the race, the chase, to endless reach, becomes moot. You’ve already arrived and you remain there, every minute of every day. Even sorrowful moments are proof that you’re alive. A sentient being, just being — that’s what we’re all about.

In the 1970s, my Mother clipped out a few pages from a magazine — it may have been Better Homes & Gardens. Clipping out articles was not her usual habit. The pages showcased a home somewhere in the Caribbean. It could have been the Turks & Caicos. The home was constructed mostly out of glass and the odd whitewashed walls, located on a rocky island outcrop. The article was titled, Caribbean Stronghold. Between two parts of the glass house lay a breeze way, and in the middle grew a big orange tree.

Not my Mom's dream home, but something similar. I sadly lost the pages in a move in 2000.  Yes, I'm heartbroken.

My Mom loved that house. To her, it represented everything she was searching for in a home, for in every direction you could see to infinity. There were no walls to confine you, to sequester your senses. You were free to fly anywhere, by merely standing still. I believe my Mom was part gypsy but didn’t know it. Wander-lust stayed with her to her dying day.

Since I received my vaccination, I feel I’m building that house inside my mind. The one side is up with my first dose, and in two months’ time, the other side will be built with the second dose, and two weeks after that the orange tree in breeze way will blossom and grow juicy delicious fruit, and I will be made whole, and all my senses will come alive, and I will see into infinity, by merely standing still.

Those of us who survive this pandemic have an obligation to build our own Caribbean Stronghold, to reach for and cherish everything and everyone who crosses our path, to live in eternal gratitude, for the bad days as well as the good, and to see and be with no walls, no fears to confine or sequester us ever again.

Maybe those pages my Mom kept and looked at longingly were always meant for now. Maybe the quest was not of glass and steel and orange trees but of the freedom she sought, and I’ve found, in a tiny needle jab, to live free in my mind, knowing life’s horizon is indeed glorious and infinite, if you’re still breathing to see.

Yes, spring. It’s a new beginning.

I wish a Caribbean Stronghold of your very own.

Grab an orange on the way out. They’re almost ready to eat!