About five years ago our little family embarked on an extended exploration. It turns out the journey was even longer than we thought. And, as is often the case, the journey itself grew more significant than the destination. Beauty is often revealed in baby steps. Little did we know…
Three years ago right now, we ended our long search for a piece of land here in west Jamaica. Exhausted and pregnant with our youngest, I’d finally decided to surrender the quest. After lengthy negotiations for ten acres we were in love with went awry, our offer was rejected. It became apparent that letting go and letting love was the only option. Perhaps, we weren’t supposed to buy at that time or in that area, etc. With some heavy convincing, my husband conceded and we essentially gave up.
Would you believe that a week later we went mango hunting, and re-discovered a seemingly “unclaimed” mango tree. We knew the tree from a previous visit to “land for sale” near by. My husband climbed it and began to chuck mangos to me. Eventually we were approached by a local resident. He was concerned we were stealing his goats, as they gathered to participate in the feasting. Apparently, someone with a station wagon much like ours, had recently packed a dozen or so goats into the back and driven off into the horizon (to a tune of thousands of Jamaican Dollars).
Turns out, the goat man’s brother was selling an incredibly bio-diverse piece of land just down the road. We talked for a long time. The rain came. And goat man took us to meet his brother. We quickly befriended the brother, who ironically is the splitting image of my husband’s father. Thus began the serendipitous exchange that led us to purchase our little piece of the rock. It has been a blessed adventure.
A labor of love indeed. I give thanks for my husband and the time, energy and work he has put into our little corner of Jamaica. Not long ago, he finally secured the perimeter of our land from goats. Trust mi, a nearly impossible endeavor. Unfortunately, we learned, the hard way, many times, that our fence did not protect our seedlings from nibbling, sure-footed, hardy, animals. Their feasts were our loss and I truly grieved when they devoured our first fully grown Papaya (known as paw paw in Ja).
Nonetheless, our devoted Daddy King stayed on the case and we now boast a growing array of striving fruit trees and flowers.
Today, I share with you our “real” first papaya, from a tree grown from seed. What a splendid event, to pick our first fruit and slice it lovingly to reveal it’s beautiful belly. Half to put in our mouths straight away and the other half to put into our ritual green smoothie. I thought you’d like to have a look. And to know that dreams really do come true. Even on the Rock!
One love, walk good, looking for beauty in baby steps…