In many ways, it was a classic “Island” Christmas, minus the sand in the sheets and the little paper umbrellas.
There was photo-worthy exotic greenery, adorned in glistening blossoms of glass, salt-dough, and crocheted silk.
(In truth, I think my technically-hip Dad was taking my picture as I sat in the the pink chair beside the tree in all my Christmas-morning, naked faced, and tousled-haired glory. Said photo will not be appearing in this blog, ever.)
Native island beauties posed happily against the backdrop of their beloved sky line.
Nosy tourists could be seen poking around in back alleys…
… while cousins-in-law renewed ties over adult beverages and profitable, thought-provoking conversations…
… expanded upon with the interpretive dance gestures common to many island cultures.
My only sadness is that I wasn’t prepared to capture the subtle rare complexity and beauty of this art form on video. It would have gone viral on youtube.
This island Christmas marked the joyous return to birth soil of generations now making their own way forward across the waters…
… while others spoke quietly into the festivities with only their fashion sensibilities and the dulcet musical murmurings of, say, soft-shelled she crabs in heat.
When you’re from afar, a gaggle of aunts around the hearth makes it all feel like home.
Whether they were deftly orchestrating traditional fare for the hungry hoards…
... or sweetly obliging the paparazzo, magnificent family females are integral to the cohesion of island life. (Some island wildlife was mysteriously illusive: sorry, Uncle Ron!)
Plus, in the case of one’s paternal bloodline auntie, it can be startling to recognize and reel in one’s own DNA-themed heritage in the form of a lilting eyebrow asymetry or distinctive nose-tip nobility. (See my Aunt Mary, above.)
Elders assembled in spirit, body and mind, although not necessarily all at the same time or with the same focus of attention.
But when they did, it was a singular moment to celebrate, as in the blooming of a rare orchid or total eclipse of the sun.
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