I recently took this picture (above) while standing on the shores of Buck Island. Buck Island is a small island that was made a National Monument in 1961, it is surrounded in the waters by several species of coral several that are on the verge of extinction, including the magnificent Elkhorn Coral, my personal favorite for many reasons. You can only reach Buck Island by boat, and it is regulated by the National Parks as a preserve. The beach is as Virgin as it gets, the water is unreal, and for us "locals" it gives you a unique perspective of the rock we call home.
In the last month we have had two sets of visitors. It was a blast, full of fun times and memories. A pleasure to share our Island with these people, and in a way it was nice for us to have witness to what we experienced day in and out on this crazy spot. Although I try, some of our experiences are not easily put into words, and best experienced in person. With our guests here it was fun to once again see our Island through the tourists eyes. It is a place that should be visited often, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT FOR A VACATION. If your thinking of moving here, you haven't been listening and need your head examined!!!
The first time I arrived on the island of St Croix, USVI stars were in my eyes. I loved the bright, beautiful, bold colors. The architecture was unique and everything I had hoped a pirate town might be. The water.....is what dreams are made of, and a sight and feel I know will never be matched or recreated again other than on the Islands of the Caribbean. My trip was not long enough, and I couldn't wait for my return.
I wanted my children to have the experiences of the ocean in their lives, I wanted them to have the lesson and adventure of being in a place where the people were as diverse as the colors on their buildings. The second trip I took to St. Croix my mother, who missed her grandchildren and daughter dearly, strongly encouraged us to consider relocating here. I was tempted, but uttered the simple threat that my husband would never come here....not in a million years.
We have officially lived here for "more than" a year. Our lives will be richer, our minds expanded, and bucket lists shortened. Although a lot of our experiences have been less than we expected, and we were not prepared for some of the reality of living on an island. How can we complain about the opportunity few will ever take to see the other side of heaven. Mountains are our home, but the ocean heals the soul. Something both Don and I needed dearly.
I felt strongly on two occasions while our last guest was here that our time here on the island, as a family, is truly coming to an end. This realization should have been a celebration but it actually came with mixed emotion. On one occasion I was greatly saddened at the thought of not standing in the exact spot I was standing ever again. I love that beach, and I love the sound of the ocean beating the sand as the sun kisses the water. Heaven on earth, well one of the places I've found it anyways. The other spot was a place I have often gone "looking" for "personal" direction. Fitting that it is also the "Most Eastern Point of the United States of America". I thought that theses feelings would fill me with joy, but I found them to be mixed emotions of gratitude for my experiences, sadness of leaving, and excitment for adventure and familiarity. My perspective had been renewed through the eyes of guests. This island is magical, and we have been truly blessed to share in the moments of "Lost in Paradise". It was a much needed vacation, like a retreat where you find yourself.
After she left Don and I sat down and discussed my feelings and we mapped out a plan. We decided to make some changes financially so that we could pay our land off a little sooner. With that debt gone from our plate our needs are greatly reduced. We decided that once that was accomplished we could and would leave with or without the perfect job. We planned to be leaving island by Fall 2013. I liked the idea of that, it gave us time to do the last few things we wanted. Where will we go? Who knows? We know better than that to plan out much of our lives. Sooner is still our prefrence, but financially without a perfect job to go to, we are going to stay here and finish off our land mortgage. All that said.....Don has a very promising interview next week.
Figures, our family motto...."Life is what happens, while your making other plans!"