Move it, move it
A Beaconite recently completed his seventh move to a sixth different neighbourhood since the passage of Hurricane Irma 13 months ago. He’s now become quite speedy at stuffing his musty clothes in black trash bags and folding all his papers and trinkets into loose boxes. Everything the Beaconite owns fits comfortably in the backseat and trunk of his Kia Sportage. The Beaconite is sure many readers can identify with this raggedy state of post-storm transience. It’s exhausting and, at times, headache-inducing. There is also, however, a sense of freedom that comes from the ability to pick up and move in an hour. When the Beaconite was a kid, his father used to wax poetic about the times in his twenties when he could fit everything he owned into the back of his red, 1953 Ford F-100 pickup. To a young boy obsessed with Legos and bikes and skateboards, this line of nostalgia made little sense. But when, nearly two decades later, Irma destroyed a significant percentage of his stuff, the Beaconite wasn’t actually taken by sadness. More so, it felt like relief. Treading lightly and moving often is uncomfortable. But having a spare wardrobe and few possessions grants you the dexterity necessary to take charge of your surroundings and improve them when necessary. A nimble lifestyle is also a hopeful one.
A Beaconite knows she shouldn’t necessarily try to engage with people on social media about the topics she covers for the newspaper. However, reporting sometimes gives her a depth and breadth of knowledge on certain topics that others may not have, and sometimes she can’t help but share it. Such was the case recently on a certain Facebook forum, where she found herself posting in support of the new voting technology she observed in action at last week’s mock elections. While others defended the “old-fashioned way” of running elections and questioned the reliability of the equipment, the Beaconite advocated for speeding up a process that she has heard — although she has not lived here long enough to have observed a general election — used to take hours of tedious hand-counting. The Virgin Islands-born residents in the forum easily could have dismissed her as a know-nothing newcomer to the territory who should reserve comment. They did not. While other areas of the internet remain cesspools of name-calling and unhinged rants, this one remained civil. She appreciates this — even if it means that in the future it will be harder to resist chiming in.
A little over a year ago, a Beaconite was lucky enough to dive the wreck of the RMS Rhone just off Salt Island with a few visiting family members. It was her first wreck dive, and the experience was unmatched. Her small group swam through a portion of the sunken frame of the ship and got to see a completely intact porthole window resting on the seafloor. Later, the dive took on even more meaning after she read Dr. Mitch Kent’s book Twice She Struck, which details the day the ship sank almost 151 years ago. But sadly, the Beaconite has not been able to go diving since, and she’s hoping to explore more of the wrecks and reefs that make the Virgin Islands one of the best diving destinations in the world. The Kodiak Queen is certainly on the list, as is the wreck of the Chikuzen. Anyone who might have diving tips for a novice, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. She would much appreciate the guidance.