I grew up in a small village on the southeast corner of Trinidad called Mayaro. (Well, it used to be a small village. It's a bona fide town, now.) When I was a little girl, the house we lived in was a rundown concrete structure that was quite literally on the beach -- seriously, the back yard was sand. I spent a lot of time when we lived there staring at the Atlantic Ocean: my elementary school was also on the beach, which meant that I walked beside the ocean every morning on the way to school (sandals in hand, feet bare in the sand), and every after noon on my way back home. And one of the things I could always count on was that in the mornings the sea was calm, with very small waves, if any at all. But during the afternoons after school the ocean was churning with huge breakers and riptides. And then? The next morning it would be calm again.
My parents don't have that place in Mayaro anymore -- now they have an apartment on the opposite side of the island, overlooking the Caribbean Sea. And over the last few days, I've spent a lot of time staring at it from their balcony. Every morning it was calm, and almost still -- like it was when I took the photo above -- but by afternoon, the waves were bigger, the surface of the sea was dotted with whitecaps. And then, in the morning again, it was calm.
This past month has been nonstop with me: for the last 5 weeks or so, it seemed that every time I turned around, I was headed to the airport. I've learned over the years that it's important for me to pace myself, so I've been mindful of including moments of rest when I could -- calling-it-an-early-night here, playing-in-my-journal-or-reading-a-book there. So the truth is that despite a few long-haul flights and a family funeral, I'm doing okay. I'm glad the travel is over for a while, but I'm doing okay.
Still, the Caribbean Sea reminded me this week that it's not just that rest is important, but that consistent rest is important. It's not just a good thing to make sure that we get rest on a regular basis, but it's imperative: in fact, I believe that as part of nature, part of the universe, it's actually how we're wired. We're supposed to spend our days cyclically. We're supposed to rest and rally, like clockwork. Rise, and then recede. Ebb, and then flow.
Just like the sea.
P.S. Make sure to get some rest, friends.
Soundtrack: Street Etiquette Audio Visual 002. I've been a fan of the men over at Street Etiquette for some time now: their photography is phenomenal, and their take on classic men's fashion with an urban twist is inspiring. But I also love their mixes -- every now and then they share an hour-long mix of music that is incredible. The mix below, Audio Visual 002, is one of my favourites: I downloaded it specifically for stretching or doing yoga. Click on the arrow to listen to it in its entirety (but be forewarned, it will put you in total chill-out mode); also, if you like it, don't forget to check out the rest of their mixes.