Sunday, February 25, 2007

The Glass was Mostly Full =)

Select Glances of My Beautiful Disaster

The Grand Princess may be
the most aesthetically pleasing cruise ship departing Galveston.
It was definitely the only one that looked decent in port, because those
other things looked like tugboats in comparison.

Costa Maya is an awesome place to shop for souvenirs,
especially if you bring your
resident bargain hunter/diplomatic negotiator
who at least tries to speak Spanish.
The food was good, the waiter was perfect.
He even sent someone to a neighboring eatery to get me the
MOST perfect FRESH avocado filled - tortilla soup
so that my friend and I could keep our
picture perfect bird's perch table with a view
that just went on and on into the turquoise horizon.

The beach is also something to behold. If you look close you may
see something interesting in the stuff that washes
up on the beach from the coral reefs. Each reef unique, like a very precious fragile necklace gracing and protecting the neck of a gritty yet enchanting earthy princess.

And then there was Roatan.
From the deck of the ship, you see a pulsing rainbow,
who's end is somewhere between the school buses and the bay.

The eye wanders up and down the flank of the island
and at first you see only trees and a village and a
young woman sprinting through the rain in such a way
that makes you think her errand may be of some vital importance.
It's raining gently, but it doesn't last long,
and pretty soon it starts to rain again.
It's a rain you don't mind so you let it kiss your cheek
while you stand mesmerized by the possibilities
you imagine must be hidden in the dense thicket of various shades of green.
When you find your favorite tour guide and gentle cab driver you'll
experience everything your open mind will allow.
Your tour guide will notice you seem dizzy at times and will gently let you take him arm
and gentleman he is, will read nothing into it.
Your cab driver, who you've named Aguas Calmas, observed it as well
and will drive appropriately to compensate.

The culture is so rich,
so diverse, so colourful the people
make their own arca iris de la tierra (rainbow of the earth).
Again the European spelling, because all of the Islanders
are the descendants of everyone you can imagine from the Eastern Hemisphere.
Your tour guide will then reward your genuine interest for his precious island by taking you to the best food on Roatan, a classy yet relaxed spot right on the water. Then you'll have a Salva Vida - a beer named "Life Saver" and you'll smile a little sadly about the irony while being serenaded by the sweet voiced lone mariachi guy.
Blissfully ignorant, the bitterness of the irony on the morrow. Your Spanish is still rusty
but it has something to do with a little rancher girl - so fitting,
he has no idea how true it is.
Your tour guide will then point to the water and say,
"There's the coral reef. "
This one, like Roatan is also special, the grandest most pristine
and very protected coral reef on this side of the earth,
being just smaller than the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.
"Is it safe for people to be out there?" you'll ask trepidaciously. "No one goes out
there without a guide, and they won't let you touch it or disturb it." "WOW" you'll say
and then you'll sit in silence and wonderment, perplexing over the idea
that there is at least one place on earth where people can live in an ancient Rain Forest
where it still rains on you sensuously, yet you aren't drenched. More like Archaic
because the rocks aren't normal rocks, but petrified wood,
the actual fossils of the ancestors of these very trees are paving your
way through the trails you walk. Proudly sharing their progeny
with whomever wishes to pass this miraculous path.

An ancient Rain Forest on the balcony of a preserved coral reef, with people who smile at everyone. So many beautiful people, no two looking very similar to the next and they respectfully address each other as 'cousin'.
Then your quiet cab driver, who was too shy and stealthy
to join you for lunch when
you didn't remember to invite him again to walk with you,
will approach the armed guards in a certain place
where there are only a few cabs today. They nod, and open the gate
and you are allowed onto the beach.
You don't know if this is the only beach or if there are any
requirements to gain access.
You didn't ask, they didn't offer,
and you were just grateful to be there.
Grateful for everything.
Grateful for the Music
Grateful for the dance of the iguana
Grateful for the kisses from the rain
Grateful for the caress of the ocean
Grateful for the rest on the beach
Grateful for seeing a Rainbow,
for being in and under a Rainbow
for meeting Rainbows
the pot of gold is there for you if you open your eyes.
So grateful for the crystal memories of these gifts. They'll help when
reality becomes as twisted and tangled as the mangroves on Roatan.
When those nice young women in scrubs come and take you away and tell you to relax
and go to your happy place, at least you now have a happy place named Roatan.
You'd love to be in the Mangroves.

Even now, the hurricane seems gone, yet in the distance...
I am more me now than I have been in years.
I didn't even know I was lost, because happiness isn't a destination
it's a decision. A decision I made very young.
Again my head is full of Rainbows and it's nice.


trek said...

Love the rainbow.

AmyP said...

Le Sigh - that looked like a really great holiday...

Samantha said...

Wow and wow. What an amazing trip. Thanks for sharing. :)

Rebekah said...

What beautiful pictures. I like your last sentence, a decision I made very young. AGain my head is full of rainbows and it's nice. I know exactly what you mean, and I agree. (well okay I think I know)

Shannon said...

That was beautiful, The writing was very tactile and the photos beautiful.

lobstah said...

Beautiful photos and writing! I love the rainbow photo...the buses look like a "pot of gold". The beach close-up is also very neat.

Donna said...

The pictures are wonderful and thank you for sharing them! I never wanted to take a cruise but now I am wondering.................

Isabelle aka Tricotine said...

I WANNA GO TOO... heeeeeeeeee