Day one and counting leading to a much anticipated meditation and yoga retreat. This is my third year doing satsang with this group, sharing practice with like minded community, and immersing my heart into these warm salty healing waters of St. John. Instead of jumping right into the retreat after the long trip it takes to arrive, I decided to come a few days early this year, try something new all by myself here on this Island I adore. Staying at the Cinnamon Bay campground felt like a natural choice. I was thinking ‘similar to Concordia’ but sharing the gorgeous beaches characteristic of the north west side of the island. Smile. Not really prepared for the fact that I would be truly camping out, not at all like the Eco tents provided with electricity and bathrooms I am used to. When it gets dark, there is simply no light. Just the propane fueled lamp provided next to the picnic table outside the simple platform tent, where food can be prepared on the Coleman stove provided. Making new friends, sharing meals with neighbors across the path. Always outside until it is time for sleep or perhaps a little reading by flashlight.
I am not an experienced camper. But I love it. Love the paring down of choices into essential. Letting the flow of life in this kind of setting, slowly but surely re-direct back to the beauty and fun of just being outdoors. Yesterday was the adventure of foraging for food, making the mile long hike up, and I mean up,the Cinnamon Bay trail, catching views
and eventually a public bus into Cruz Bay in search of a grocery store. Returning many hours later with a full backpack after leisurely time spent sipping Red Stripe beer at a local outside bar.
Surf is up, gentle today, sun caught in waves as it begins to rise more fully.
On this side of the island, the sun comes up behind the beach. It is early. I sit here now in the shade, virtually alone on this magnificent stretch, staring out at fifty shades of blue. A meditation pool.
As if to defy the motivation to come here early to just sit, I’m stripped down to bathing suit and in the water that calls quite insistently. In this giant pool all by myself with wind, warm morning sun, and the caress of this ocean, oh my. Water so clear that it appears to hold light as well as warmth. Sand so soft, the finest white carpet stretching as far as the eye can see. And my body begins to move. Not by any conscious thought. Stretching limbs to meet the limits of sensation, swimming some crawl, breaststroke, flip over to backstroke, back to treading water, waiting for the next impulse. I eventually find myself on my back, arms moving like angel wings with bent elbows up toward my ears, legs simultaneously moving like a frog, hold, release and ah. Over and over until life is reduced to just pure sensation. It’s not until I flip over and look again at the shore that I realize my mind couldn’t have held a thought here if I had wanted it to.
Now, later, the pool begins to fill with human life, slow parade both at the water’s edge and out at the horizon in wind filled sails. A small child is squealing with joy, then engulfed by a wave, begins to cry, is quickly scooped up by an adoring father who in seconds has her laughing again. Peace and happiness even in tears. Meditation pool.
It is where I intend to spend as much of today as I can, right here in this place, until it begins to get dark again.