Yesterday was an interesting day for me. I spent most of it outside in the heat of a very hot day, which took a toll. This compounded a far from as fruitful search as wanted that I had embarked on. Repeated misrepresentations, seemingly deliberate purveyance of misinformation, and the frustration that ensued made for a challenging day. I returned to St Kitts that evening—a place I had only known for the last couple weeks—and experienced what I can only describe as a somewhat surprising sense of relief. The moment, in itself, picked up my spirits, though it was what came to follow soon after that I found worth reflecting on.
In needing to debrief myself, to take stock of the days events, I picked a place I had a little familiarity with. It was somewhere I could sit for a while, and reflect, mull over what choices I had and what actions were available to me. Whilst reflecting, I noted someone riding passing by on their bike. They were not the first to go past, and not the last, whilst I was there. In that moment, it was the the normality of it that stood out. People riding their bikes, being and feeling free and safe enough to ride their bikes (the class privilege of this was not in my mind at that moment)—the joy of it, normality, struck a chord.
A short time later in walking, I was passed by someone cruising the streets on a longboard. They were clearly enjoying themselves. As they went past, I had my first real thoughts of surfing since I left Oz. It was the fluidity of motion, the simple pleasures. Their tranquillity in effort and effortlessness. My recollections of surfing were not in any way a missing of it, rather an awareness of the spatiality of it, the connectedness and sense of place that floating amongst the waves, gliding through a bottom turn. Simple pleasures.
In these thoughts, these recollections, of an act than is very much individual, though often collective in its separateness, it is a little paradoxical that I began to reflect on the importance of relationships. Some of the most simple yet prudent advice I have been given was shared with me on an occasion similar to this, some years back. I had similarly embarked on an adventure, living in an unfamiliar place far removed from my networks and circles of friends. Relationships are central to happiness, to being happy.
Perhaps this is why I felt the relief on returning to St Kitts. In my short time here, I have met some pretty inspirational and good-hearted people. People who are engaged in worthwhile issues. Just knowing they exist seems to be enough, in my current stage of liminality, to make my days much more enjoyable…