Tobago

Tobago
Horizon at Sandy Point

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Tobago again. Kariwak again. Sandy Point again

In Tobago. I am taking photos of the same things I took a year ago. Koi at the Kariwak ajoupa. The rain tree (mogumbo) sinuous as a dancer, a little taller, with a crown of red lipped pods open to show  black pearls. And this morning, I find myself aiming my little point-and-shoot at the sea off Sandy Point. Rolling relentlessly towards the shore, the white caps swell and break, rhythmic as heartbeat, purposeful as blood.

Early morning on Sandy Point

It rained overnight. The shrubs and trees are glad for the water. But the sun is coming out. And I will - over the week - undoubtedly focus on some of the favourite things that keep me coming back to Tobago. Why do we do this? What comfort there is in predictability! This week is time out of mind, a suspension point that punctuates a year. An intersection to assimilate unchanging past and preset unpredictable future. What's a vacation but a pause in the field of play?

We first came to Kariwak when it was a twinkle in the eye of Allan Clovis returning from being a teacher of indigenous peoples in cold Canada. Cynthia Hurd-Clovis shared his vision and over the years has shaped this oasis of twelve bungalows in a tropical garden. Lighter than air hummingbirds and clumsy cockricos. Soursop, five finger, lime. Rows of basil, rosemary, chive and patchoi in a herb garden.
Lunchtime light

Cottage style room
Hammocks in the garden
Yoga in the Ajoupa
We arrive just past noon this day this year. The strong one mock complains bitterly to lug the rolling bag. I slow to geisha walk remembering the first walk to Kariwak 33 years before. A rag tag and bobtail crew from the advertising agency on the same path, a trek made merry with laughter and antics about the goat on the road. We were about work that was play: to launch the Kariwak (not Carib nor Arawak) on its pleasant journey to be holistic haven and health-filled retreat, a model of modest enterprise and the much larger demonstration of the simple pleasures that make us human: healthful environment, wholesome food, energising rest.

That's all we ever ask of Kariwak, but it feels like home every year. This garden our garden. Today, we soak in the ozone pool, loosening shoulders made tense with stress, lengthening limbs to litheness with swimming. Lunch so satisfying you think you won't need dinner. Five hours on, you're ready to eat again, more deliciousness transformed with herbs from the garden. Breakfast a tastebud's delight: spice tea to wake up; bake and smoke herring.

Breakfast bake and herring


waterfall in the garden

the rain tree (mogumbo) graceful as a dancer

Yes, we're back to primary - some may say primal - pleasure - touchstone for these days of technological living. It's that Tobago frame of mind. Wake to rain; the sea shushing the shore; sun following its light across brightening blue. And in the early evening, two bright planets lining up, and a half moon waxing.

What's this time - week, month, year - but a moment in the mind of God. What are the years already lived but flashes of memory on the silver screens of our souls.
waterfall waltzing

back stroking in the ozone pool

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