A Beaconite, who suffers from major anxiety in the air, refused to travel by plane for a large portion of her teen years. Until last month, she had managed to avoid the miniscule eight-seater prop planes operated to and from the many small islands surrounding the Virgin Islands. It terrifies her that these planes are flown by just one pilot (whom one prays is in perfect health) and that the ticket agent always asks passengers how much they weigh before they board to ensure the flight is not overloaded by even a few pounds. This time, though (as is typical in this region), there was no way out of it if she had any hope of making it back from her vacation in anything less than 23 hours. At least, so far she has managed to avoid being the unlucky (or lucky?) soul who gets to sit in the copilot’s seat. On the outbound flight, she made it through the 30-minute ordeal by placing the in-flight magazine directly in front of her face to avoid looking out the window, death-gripping the back of the seat in front of her, and trying to ignore the woman behind her gasping and audibly praying at even the slightest bit of turbulence (prompting the pilot to remove his headset and look behind him to see what in the world was going on back there). Overall, the flight was smooth and even arrived early, and the one on the way back was even better. There will probably be more to come, if only because they seem unavoidable. Of course, the Beaconite has never fallen asleep on any flight, ever, but maybe next time.
Sunday in the bay
Ever since snorkeling in the turquoise shallows of Ginger Island in early September, a Beaconite has been angling to take up the hobby more consistently. Unfortunately, his purchase of the necessary gear preceded two weeks of inclement weather. So, the Beaconite was excited to finally find himself wading into the warm of water of Brewers Bay on Sunday, mask and snorkel in hand. Hugging the western reef, he was awed by how quickly the landscape changed, with cylindrical towers of coral appearing out of nowhere, only to give way to small valleys of smooth sand where wide, striated leaves swayed slowly in the ocean’s current. The light in the water changed quickly, too. At one point, the Beaconite had to tack a bit to the right, as sunlight had so thoroughly pierced the water it looked as though he was swimming amongst columns of dust that obstructed his vision. He saw schools of flat-bodied electric-blue fish move into the distance, and he saw a solitary, more meaty fellow nibble on a thin stick of coral like a hummingbird at a birdfeeder. Near the tip of the western side of the bay, his original destination, the Beaconite got spooked by the stronger current and choppier waves. He was alone, and figured it was best to play it safe. So he took off his mask, splayed out on his back, and began slowly kicking the water, propelling himself back to shore.
A Beaconite had her first experience helping out on a local farm over the weekend. She walked over to Good Moon Farm, which took just ten minutes from where she lives, and spent a couple hours weeding and reconnecting with the earth. It was a fruitful experience: She and a fellow reporter received bananas, avocado and fresh spinach. After her first visit to a farmer’s market in town, she is heartened to see so many people live by the land. Hours spent toiling at the soil and cultivating crops are well spent in her opinion. Learning patience as plants grow is a labour of love and dedication — and something everyone can take a lesson from. From planting her own vegetables, the reporter also has learned the importance of good soil, adequate sunlight, and water. Some days she’ll notice her plants wilting, then she’ll water them, and just a few minutes later she’ll see them upright and happy to be alive. This small beginning in gardening will, she hopes, lead to a lifetime of farming and cultivating a close relationship with nature.