pink on darkened skin

I love the look of pink on darkened skin.  With fingers outstretched in the aqua Caribbean sea, nails are shiny, rounded and translucently clean.  Just underneath is the protected pink skin that has not turned nut brown like the rest of me and the contrast is beautiful.  I can tread water here forever in this cove that is overlooked from the collection of permanently built eco tents above, with floating fingers that are stretching and searching and resting and reveling all at once.  The beaches on St. John are many and all breathtakingly beautiful.

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No matter what the configuration of sand and sun and plant and human may be, rolling and floating and treading in this sublime salty blue is the ultimate goal….

It is day five of our retreat on the lovely island of St. John.  The group participates together each morning in four hours of meditation and yoga.  The rest of the day is ours to do as we please.  My pattern has been clear each day.  Lunch is almost an afterthought before slowly and surely finding the way to the beach.  Up until now, the newness of this enticing environment has had me going with a different kind of flow in relation to food.  Today however, I find myself moving toward the little two burner stove in our tent and the bin of virtually untouched supplies we bought the first day and make a small pot of the instant brown rice in the break between our two sessions.  When I return to the tent for lunch, I feel the pull to make something familiar.  While chopping fresh garlic and ginger I realize this is simply an extension the morning’s yoga for me.  I am so present to the meditative quality of these simple movements, to the anticipation of the familiar flow that will yield a bowl of simple nourishment.  I saute the garlic and ginger in some olive oil and add a handful of fresh spinach, a cupful of the cooked rice and some coconut milk with the awareness that a little bit goes a long way.  I toast some pumpkin and sunflower seeds in another pan, and make a small omelette of a beaten egg.  Assembled in a bowl….

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with offerings of gratitude to the sea below

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I honor this place in me that is true no matter where I am…

It is this same truth that emerges in the daily circle of treading water.  I remember that the combination of salt and warmth is something I routinely create for myself in my own bathtub at home, smiling now for the sense of accomplishment felt at installing the large oval soaking tub surrounded by shimmering glass tile and deep periwinkle blue walls …

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Only now as I float in the waters of this Caribbean bay that I have fallen in love with, do I fully appreciate what I have waiting for me at home.

The night of the full moon we all hike to the top of Ram’s head near our bay and watch the sun set and the moon rise from the same place.  In the interval between these two events the darkening sky becomes the most gorgeous pink I have ever seen, so smooth and creamy as to not even seem real, like a page from a paint sample book…

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I look down at the pink on darkened skin that has become such a contrast on my own sun bronzed body.  It helps me remember both the vulnerability and the beauty of that place just underneath that may be visible but still in need of some tender loving care.  It becomes the metaphor for each breathtaking moment experienced gazing into a sunrise or sunset against darkened clouds, or of the play of light filtering through obstacles framing a path, for remembering how to be present for the light with the dark in every possible way…

2 thoughts on “pink on darkened skin

  1. Dear Kathy, Thank you for taking us there with you. To the tender ‘pink’ and that bowl of nourishment — never in a million years would I assemble that combination! I appreciate the spark of sunlight reflecting off the curve of your spoon and the Anguilla-like sea. So happy that you had this time for yourself.

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