It was a stunning Easter Sunday - at last the rain stayed away and the sun stayed out all day. Perfect given I had planned a picnic at the beach with a friend.
I packed the bag of goodies; dips, chips, meat, cheese, olives - I created my own deli style lunch and it looked delicious. We wandered down and found a quiet bench away from the main stream crowd, our conversations are often not for all ears… We sat, unpacked the spread, the wine was poured and we settled into easy banter.
Around the park children played, bikers pedalled their way to or from home, a guy on a unicycle-looking like a giant - gracefully cycled passed - how did he do it!! An older man with shocking white hair poking out from under his cap, was fiddling with his fishing rod getting ready to cast it into the East Coast waters. Thoughts of if he'll catch anything or not, how chilled he is just hanging out at the park - is he happy on his own?
With bellies full of scrumptious food and the bottles of wine empty, we wandered to the shop and stocked up with more liquid refreshment before finding a spot on the sand to sink into. Looking across at the skyline, even with the horizon broken by tanker after tanker, there's still a magic about it. The water and the sky meeting in a blend of blue and white, creating a straight line that any architect would be proud of. My friend and I sat there both grateful for the fact we live where we do, not taking for granted what this small island has to offer.
There was a group of people playing in the sand near the shore - the waves gently crashing on them as they bury one woman in the sand. They might be in their 30s plus, yet the joy they exuded was like that of 5 year olds. Lifting sand, covering each other with it, splashing water and enjoying all of the day.
The guy started to bury the girl, my friend and I watched as he covered her body and built the body he wanted - 2 huge boobs appeared as they giggled away! They got sea weed and placed it as pubic hair - it was a pleasure to see people being so open and carefree and just having fun.
As we continued to drink our wine, they continued to pile sand on the girl. When my eyes glanced back to them a while later, all I could see was a huge pile of sand. OMG where was her head!? Had they really buried her totally? Could she still breathe? I couldn’t see a straw poking up out of where her head would be…. Were we going to be witness to a murder!!!!
Daft thoughts I know.
I felt the need to run into the water, and at the same time check on the girl. I ran down and went over to them, of course I really knew that she’d be okay, but I had to check! Her face was uncovered and she was beaming brighter then the sun!!
I told them I was worried and they laughed loudly, deep from inside their bellies. I ran in the water relieved and content that she was okay and I’d checked. As I came out they called me over as they'd found a 'pearl of the orient’; a stone/rock with a mosaic pattern... Only one though, no good for nipples I told them as their smiles widened, I said I was waiting for him to build a penis too and we all laughed.
I sat with my friend again and told him what had happened. 5 minutes past and the guy wandered up to us and said:
I was taken aback - thank you for what? all I did was go over. In his 32 years here it was the first time a gweilo had approached them in the way I had and his day had been made better for my simple act.
I sat astounded, why wouldn't I have done what I did? They were people having fun, enjoying being together and it was beautiful to watch and to be a small part of it.
They all headed over, brought coke and an ice box, offered us a drink and told us a bit about themselves - their kids at home and their jobs here. They seemed so at peace with their lives, it was what it was and why would they not enjoy a weekend at the beach.
They left and I was overcome with emotion, am I really that different that others don't do as I did and talk to people? I like to think I am different in certain ways (we all are) but I'd rather not be unique when it comes to connecting with others even if only for 10 minutes.
Why did it make their day you might wonder?
These guys were all from the Philippines which is possibly why some won’t/don’t approach them.
To me they were people who loved the afternoon, loved each other and had a love for life.
I am grateful that they were at the beach so I had the opportunity to say hello to them - at the end of the day we are all the same....