It’s raining all day. We watch the sea from inside, behind glass doors. It must be cold. But is it wetter? The pelicans are soaring and falling into the bay. Waves turn to white horses leaping and prancing to crash into the sandy shore. The sky falls, greyer and closer to the dark sea. Tarpons' fins rise, cleave the wave for a second and disappear. We are safe as houses, and dry.
|Looking out of a dry house at the sea and sky off the western tip of Tobago|
But another impulse calls. Don't waste the day. Don't stay inside walls, air-cooled rooms, man-made caves. The Tobago air is moist, warm, full of indefinable scents, textures, mystery. Acrid with an aroma of burning bush, salty with rain spray and sea spume.
At water’s edge, it takes many minutes to the plunge: toes in, ankles, knees. The sea laps at hips, waist, chest. Then you dip in, gasping at the wet, sucking in the chill. Roll over, paddle firmly, warm up warm up warm up. It doesn’t take long to be in the mind of the jellyfish, flip floating flopping along… Be the eel. Stretch like a starfish clinging to surface tension, suspended on the sea, eyes to the sky.
Grange Bay floating, sky gazing, always turns to dreaming.
I float through night dreams, drifting on murky waters along never-to-be-reached shores. These are atavistic memories, I tell myself, from being born and living in the sea, some kind of sea worm rolling in silt-laden waters never ready to strike out for solid ground. The dark land, mangrove shrouded, was an ever-present visible but not attractive or attainable scape . To float is never to be firm-footed, never to be land heavy. To be between worlds is to breathe air while resting on water.
The other dream that rises at Grange Bay is the land-lubber's: to inhabit a house overlooking the bay. To look out of windows at - to always be in sight of - the surging sea, the changing sky.
|From behind the fallen but still green almond tree|
|Tracks below the manchineel tree|
|Coconut towering over all|
|Flamboyant flowers "in your face"|
|A gentle sea laps along the bowl of Grange Bay|
|A moment of bliss as the sun comes out|