Fall. It feigns to exist here in The Bahamas. Nevertheless it does. Felt in the cooler temperatures of our gin clear waters and with each step on the powdery white sand – otherwise notorious for being too hot to traipse across during the high-heat of summer. It is seen in the pools of discarded Poinciana flowers lining the coastal hugging thoroughfares and in the bare mango trees. When I lived in New York City the approach of Fall was suggested by the start of the spring presentations at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. Whereas in contrast my days on the island are measured by the nearing of a tropical storm spiraling in to a categorized hurricane.
Should there ever exist a moment of summer that I wish to clutch on to as I sail in to the autumnal horizon it would be in a frame of the short time spent wading across the shallows that Frangipani Italian Restaurant & Lounge looks on to. I was on the island of Great Exuma, reviewing Grand Isle Resort & Spa, and a uneven downhill drive – past the Rolle Town Tombs – had led us to a newly opened cove-side restaurant. Ever curious with my camera in hand we spiraled through lattice woodwork in to a seating area open to clear blue skies. Carried in the breeze through the slits of swaying palms came the sound of childhood laughter. I looked to the sea and quietly loved the view from afar, for they evoked memories of my childhood. Water babies we were. Taught to swim before we could walk and often the sun, sand and sea being the only swim costume we would wear. My call out to the two boys broke through the calm silence as I asked if I could join them. Given my height in comparison to theirs I would more so wade ankle deep while their bellies would barely skim the bay’s floor. Taking the small hand of each child we walked away from the shoreline towards the neighboring island nestled between the enveloping arms of the protected cove. Knowing that the sea takes its color from the bottom I saw the ombre change in the sea floor, indicating a drop in depth. Recognizing the independence found in each child – a trait nurtured by the freedom of the out-islands – and the intensity of the cut’s current I kneeled with outstretched hands and showed the boys how to test the direction of the oncoming sea, for it is lesson that could save their life. And one that serves as a constant reminder that something much greater than us is in always control.
With that we raced back to the safety of the shoreline.