Posted by: Reginald Cyntje | February 27, 2010

Going Home…

Is there a place you call home?

Though I was born on the island of Dominica, I grew up in the Virgin Islands, St. Thomas. I remember the smell in the air.

I took my first steps, said my first words and began my education on St. Thomas. When I was an infant, my mom was learning how to drive stick on the beach and pressed the gas instead of the brakes and took my cousin and me for probably our first dive. I wonder if that affected the way I viewed water?

The ocean smell. I remember summers at the beach. We went to the beach during the school year but summers were special. Our attention was on fun in the sun trying not to get burned but still leaving the beach happy and in pain from the sun’s unforgiving rays. My sisters tried not to get their hair wet but they still got dunked. Memories…

I remember my first kiss. Being embarrassed that I didn’t know how. My 6th grade class gathering around me looking. Chanting, “don’t be scared.” I played it off that we needed privacy. When we were finally alone my classmate looked through the girl’s bathroom window and saw my eyes open standing on a rock attempting to kiss a girl who knew more about the use of the tongue than me. I spent the summer before 7th grade remembering what she did and practicing on a little blue key chain so I would be a better kisser for the next girl. I went from not knowing to being desired for a kiss.

Going home triggers many fond memories. First love, first awareness, first introduction to music. Marriage? A place so beautiful I got married there twice and spent honeymoons indulging. I have not set foot on the island since 2002 and now I will be there feeling the kiss of the sun on my skin. I have so much family I wonder if I will be able to see them all with my proposed schedule for performing.

I will see my old room and remember all the experiences encountered within those four walls. I will taste my mother’s cooking and see my youngest sister’s smile. I will sit and talk with my father about life and listen to anecdotes of wisdom which escape his lips when least expected. I will see the dream realized of renovations to my parents’ home. A dream they had since I was seven when my father drove out to the house before we moved in. I remember the moon lit night. The neighborhood was new and my father said look son this is our new home.

The memories of my sisters and I putting on shows and inviting the neighbors. We had comedy, music, dancing, talent and most importantly fun. We laughed. I remember the hurricanes that hit the island and destroyed our home twice. We could have been depressed but we laughed and played in the battery lit fluorescent light. We had dance class for the neighbors in our driveway everyday. Teaching various kids hip hop moves and ending the class with a good “jump up” to calypso music.

All these memories and more will be in my thoughts as I touch ground on the place I call home. I look forward to watching the sunrise out my parents’ window. The sun seems much bigger at home. I intend on savoring the many sunsets I will experience. The beach? Yes, the healing ocean replenishing my spirit. Recharging my batteries for my return to planet mainland United States.

I want to tell my younger self look around and notice what you have so you won’t be infatuated with the myth. More does not mean a better place. Music can be nurtured by listening to the waves for a metronome and creating melodies from the echoes of ancestors. The beauty? The exaggerated imagery of clouds, exotic creatures, vibrant colors that would rival a magazine air brush, hibiscus, coconut, waterfront, coral sand, passion fruit.

The food! I will eat. My aunts will see my hungry face with my mouth watering for different dishes. I can’t remember the last time I spent money on food when I visited the island. Maybe I will this time, maybe I won’t. I’m going home and I’m looking forward to the taste, smell, feel, sights and love. The morning air pulling you out of sleep gently, blue skies, crystal clear water, ocean breeze spraying a mist refreshing the skin, family, music and peace.

Going home…

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Responses

  1. Your imagination does something to me, continue writing….

  2. Our lives has been touched in the same ways in the islands, and music is our common bond. Glad to have musical memories with you in the islands. Hope I get a chance to see/hear the band while you’re on island.

  3. I kind of wish you were in a St. Thomas state a mind all the time. Having lived in Dominica I remember how long it took me to get used to the pace of life in the DC Met again. I hope you bring back home some of that carefreeness…You have alot more stress in your make up…or it could have been just me,lol….Well when you do find that special lady to get married again, for love of God don’t get married in the same place dude. Create new memories on new ground, demons tend haunt places trust me. On my honeymoon, my ex-boyfriend came for a very inconvenient visit..uhmmm now where am I,lol. Obviously you have tons of old girlfriends down in St. Thomas given your new women an evil…..Try St. Maarten or Bermuda,lol..


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