Hair blowing in the wind
The ocean spray sprinkles my arms, face, my lips.
I taste salt.
I breathe it in- the air, the breeze-
so cool and refreshing.
I fill up my lungs with this air
this air that tastes of salt and earth and sun and beauty.
I breathe it in- the smell-
so wild and intoxicating.
I focus in on this scent
this scent of ocean and mystery, coconut trees and possibilities.
I breathe it in- soak it up- eyes ravenous to gaze at it all-
So beautiful, so majestic
I stare out from my perch atop the boat- wide-eyed and seeing.
Seeing, seeing. Basking in the beauty of creation.
I've done this ride one hundred times
always with the realization that this time will pass, these days will end.
We round the last bend and she lays out before us-
our little island on the edge of the world
so untamed and isolated
full of so many things broken and beautiful.
The kids are swimming off the wharf
laughing and screaming- skinny, tanned bodies that know this earth well.
Our pup waits on the beach- quick to let out a howl when he sees us
reminding us he doesn't like being left behind.
Isitolo, my student, climbs to the front of the boat and drops the anchor.
He dives off the side and joins his splashing friends.
I hear the sounds of laughter and roosters and "Te u ta'i koe".
The island's only transport- a tractor- rumbles to life in the distance.
We call out jokes and unload the boat-
passing bags of rice and noodles,
passing babies and buckets of fish.
The tractor arrives and they all implore us to"heka".
We prefer the 15 minute walk through the jungle back to our village,
even when we're loaded down with groceries and gossip and the tiredness of our once a month trip to town.
We enter our yard as the sun is setting
Greens, yellows, oranges, blues
The sky, the ocean, the trees, the flowers.
Our laundry flutters in the wind
the kids play rugby in the front yard
Our pup barks and runs and greets everyone,
always returning to his master's side
We cross the yard hand in hand
Sometimes it's easy to remember,
"We find You in everything we ever could call home".