An island seems to change everything.
Suddenly, you are thrust upon this wild and unknown area, with adventure rounding each hairpin turn while the glistening sea beckons for frolicking. The pure novelty of being so separated from the rest of the world, by however small a ribbon of water, keeps you excited and ready to explore.
Is it not odd that we attribute such happy memories to these places? Our fondest childhood memories of camp rituals or weekend fishing trips tend to stem from these secluded spots. Cheesy local shirts, messy hair tied in elaborate braids, swim trunks still dripping with the scent of adventure, are quintessential topics within our collective memory.
When we cross that forbidden sea border, making the transition from land to sea back to land again, it is like we go through an entire metamorphosis. This island, this refuge through the storm, is a getaway and a solid rock within the vast ocean. Every single moment and memory is carefully preserved in our memory, like a well kept secret to persist through the ages. From work we jump into fishing, swimming, boating, dancing, playing, laughing, and going on just a great adventure.
Even our behavior, perhaps aloof towards strangers in the city, changes to fascination of these wonderful neighbor campsites. It is as easy to strike up a conversation as striking up the crackling fire at the setting of another day. The simplest tasks of merely looking up changes from seeing the rosy haze of the city streetlights to seeing a ribbon of stars up above. We take care to be careful with all of our trash, protecting these pristine preservations of nature, and equally conservative with our limited resources. Suddenly, a simple slice of toasted bread topped by a runny egg becomes the most glorious of breakfasts, better than any combination of mimosas and caviar. A sunburn or some small scrapes are seen as an occupational hazard, not as an annoyance of any kind. Challenges are to be embraced, not shielded away from.
How does a simple moat of water change our perspective so much? For even while we are isolated in our work, in our jobs, we can’t take as much care or have so much interest. What is a continent but a really, really, really big island? Or for that matter, what is Planet Earth but humanity’s lonely outpost in the wide Mily Way Galaxy? If we take that perspective with us (for really, perspective is so often the most important of all things), how could we see the world for anything else? How could we afford to not talk to our neighbors; how could we afford to not save the world?
Our resources and environment were just as pristine, and while we have destroyed so much, there is still hope yet. Hope to preserve and to live in harmony with nature, not as a “return to the basics”, but as a way to coexist and care. We can still do that simple act of reaching out every day to a stranger, a lost person along the city blocks, or maybe just connecting with our estranged parents. Every action could bring us into a little more community in these lonely island nations of ourselves.
[By the way, for the record of this trip:
2 Ferry Trips
2 Fish Caught
1 Crab Caught (and released!)
1 Kayak overturned
1 Mountain Climbed
1 Ice Cream Eaten
97 Photos taken
2 Mad Dashes for Sunsets
and 1 Giant Monster of a Sea Rose found (uhfapsdufh)
[insert picture of sea rose here plz] ]