Imagine an old, wise, and benign man with sparkling eyes, and long, unkempt gray hair, cleanly shaven once a week or so, sun-kissed and toned. He’s fit and lean, he goes on hikes and swims. He smells like jungle and salty ocean and sun. His voice is a rich baritone and he frequently erupts in a deep bulky laugh with high wheezes. You will find him often sitting by the water with a beer in hand and a twinkle in his eye. This good man understands the value of both adrenalin and relaxin’. This is Father Time in the Caribbean.

You see, Father Time likes it here. He likes being free and that nobody takes him too seriously in these parts and that if something doesn’t happen On Time, he can just blame Wind, Water, or Weather.

As relaxed and sympathetic as he may sound, as you get to know him a little more, you find there’s something upsetting about his high-pitched laughing and you notice one of his twinkling eyes is actually twinkling somewhere a little aside from where the other eye is looking. You admire his muscular arms, but you suspect his charms may be distracting you while his left hand is feeling for your purse. You suspect he might be playing tricks on you.

And you’re right. Father Time, he lures you to the Caribbean islands with promises of endless summer loving and eternal starry nights like a siren calling sailors to their death. He enchants you with promises of island getaways and escaping rush hours. But he is indeed playing tricks on you.

Father Time enjoys a practical joke. In a tipsy moment, Father Time conspired with Mother Nature to make it an endless summer here. Guffawing together over this with a drink in hand, she took the seasons (except hurricane season, because Wind needed a place to let her hair loose) and together they cocktailed a place where there’s no winter, no spring, no autumn, just this endless, blissful summer. Paradise, right? It’s just that every day is the same and that is the reason you still haven’t written that blog post or contacted your family back home or why you forget birthdays. Tomorrow is going to be the same as today. You do what you need to do, come home, and before you know it, it’s Friday again. Where’s the urgency in anything? Father Time and Mother Nature have soothed you into believing nothing is necessary.

Then there’s another prank Father Time pulls. The big events that happen in your island life, like the births and deaths of loved ones near and far, the hurricanes, the new jobs, the new relationships you form, these turning points in your life are abundant once you move to a rock. You don’t notice this however, because you’re busy taking it easy. Too late you realise you’re in a running competition with Father Time and he’s got a head start because you were sipping a cocktail.

Friends and family off-island are also having children, buying houses, moving on, and doing some proper adulting, most of which you register with some detachment, because you are busy looking for the green flash. Suddenly, after some time, you’ll find a box with a series of snapshots of your life and others’ and you realize that apparently all this has taken place and yet somehow you missed it. What do you mean, it’s Christmas already? And didn’t she just start primary school? What do you mean she’s started high school? This is the reason you continuously feel like you’re trying to catch up to your life: this bubble of endless summer, while the rest of the world continues on. He’s caught you in his hourglass, the sand trickling through your fingers. Is this the price for living in Paradise?

Fit Father Time is having a running competition with you and he’s cackling all the way, laughing at your distracted attempt at playing catch up. Then, next thing you know, he meanders with his hands in his pockets again between the big events of your life, doing nothing at all, innocently watching you with his wrinkly, all-knowing eyes, savouring the prank he’s pulled on you, while you’re bent over out of breath, your side stinging from trying to catch up.

Thank Father Time, your island schizophrenic.

Written By:

Rhiannon Jorna

Current Rock of Residence:

Saba

Island Girl Since:

August 2012

Originally Hails From:

The Netherlands

A traveller at heart, this landlubber has managed to stay in one spot for over five years now. That is because her heart has found a home on one of the smallest rocks in the Caribbean: Saba in the Caribbean Netherlands. Before her 30th, her travels had taken her around Europe, to Australia and New Zealand, Canada, the US, Malaysia, and Thailand. Turning 30 in a big city like Kuala Lumpur made her and her husband reevaluate what’s really important and so they meandered their way to this beautiful tropical rock.

One childhood dream of hers was to have a portal into a different world where time flows differently, so she could read an entire book, step back into Reality, and only 5 minutes have gone by. Let’s say she’s not quite found the portal, but instead a rock where time takes its own pace. The former concert goer and adamant believer in the power of books has not had one moment of regret of adding her rolling stone to this amazing rock.

Adding to the workload of teaching English language and literature at the high school that consists of about 100 students and the care for a cat and a husband, she now also has the care of twins and a baby. When they are not trying to pull the cat’s hairs or daddy’s beard, their mom tries to find the time to a) soak up the Caribbean lifestyle and b) sleep, which is supposed to come with point a), but somehow never materializes. Now also there is a new point in the line of personal development: c) write about the perks of living on a rock compared to her long ago life. This “Life BS” (life Before Saba) seems a distant past, where the words “workload” and “busy” and “commute” meant something else entirely.

Anyhow, if you’re curious about life on Saba and/or with kids in the Caribbean, be sure to check in every once in a while to her blog.

Want to read more posts by this writer? Click here.

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