In what seems to be another world, barely off of the coast of Florida, is situated a small cluster of islands which hold my most favorite place on this earth. Specifically, the island of Nassau is near and dear to my heart and I often find myself imagining that I am entering the island and exiting the hustle and bustle of my everyday life. Mindably, there is the initial context of a rushed sense of businesses and tourism on the island, but I have found a path through the madness and into a complete sense of serenity that is like no other in the world.
Moving past the line of locals who are attempting to sell tours or souveniers, I walk along the broken concrete sidewalk and listen to the music of the street musicians as I continue to my destination. Stopping only to peak over the waist high barrier that prevents pedestrians from falling into the Atlantic Ocean and smell the salt as it rises from the water and into the air, I barely notice the regular tourist stops such as Senor Frogs and the Straw Market. Bearing right through the more local and residential area, I look beyond the graffiti and keep my eye on the blue skies above me. Finally, passing over a broken street grate and through a grove of trees on my right, I begin to hear the quietness of the local beach.
Smiling at the vendors who occupy the small, colorful beverage shacks along the beach, I make my way to a small cluster of large rocks to the far left of the lightly populated area. I walk past a few small local children who are chasing sea gulls along the coastline and watch as their mothers string sea shells in order to make bracelets and necklaces to sell to the tourist. The locals seem to be very focused yet strangely giving off a feeling of relaxation that cannot be found anywhere else that I have been before. Perhaps this is because they spend their day within touching distance of my favorite place.
I can feel the sand, warm against my toes, and I take a moment to recognize how perfectly the rocks are positioned as if someone had placed them there specifically for a place for me to rest and recoup from my everyday life. However, the pure size of the rocks, each larger than I could wrap my arms around, suggests that they have been there long before the tourist or the vendors behind me. Carefully, I step upon the edge of the lowest rock and slide myself across into my magestically prepared throne. With my back leaned against the rocks, the world behind seems to vanish. There, I sit and stare. I listen to the waves and the wind that blows strongly across the island. I touch my toes into the small pools of water that have formed on the rocks. I smell the conch fritters that are being fried behind me and I look across the ocean, beyond the lighthouse, and into the nothingness that is truly everything.
For me, this is the most beautiful and calming place on the planet. I am aware, through the scents and occassional squeals of laughter and splashing that catch their way to my senses by way of the ocean breeze, but I am strangely also unaware that there is anything going on other than the natural world below the surface of the sea that I can only sit and imagine. Somehow, although I look across the surface and can only see the traces of the life below, that life becomes a part of me and I become a part of it. Somehow, everything else just fades away.