It’s been said:
The true paradises are the paradises that we have lost.
And that might be true. To make my case, I present exhibit A:
I clearly remember the day captured in this month’s Moment of Zen. I woke up anchored in a loving embrace aboard a comfy catamaran named Tesla, Tyrell Bay‘s crystal clear waters arcing around us. After coffee, a light breakfast, and a quick wash off the transom, I joined Chris and Chrystal of LTD Sailing for a dinghy ride ashore.
Even though I’d sailed past Carriacou twice, I’d never set foot on the island, so I was looking forward to a little exploring. Walking under a perfect Caribbean sky and balancing on the storm wall separating the sand of Tyrell Bay from the main road, we passed Sundowners Beach Bar, waved good morning here and there, and poked our heads into the Gallery Cafe.
Before long Chris mentioned that he wanted to show me something, so we flagged down a dollar taxi and squeezed into the back.
A couple hills and a few corners later, we hopped out in front of a repurposed shipping container on the side of the road. Inside was Fidel Productions—a collection of batiks, handmade soaps, artistically upcycled coconut crafts, and more. I puttered around and made a few purchases.
I thought this was what Chris wanted to show me, but it turned out it wasn’t.
Just a few feet away, shaded by a collection of gnarled sea grape trees was Hardwood Bar & Snacket. This was my type of bar. It was brightly painted with a dart board on the side which required players to stand in the sandy parking lot to play, a wide covered veranda that extended further under the trees, a hand-drawn posted menu that dared you to believe there would be “FREE BEER TOMORROW,” and perhaps best of all, an opening time of 9am.
I thought this was what Chris wanted to show me, so we bought a few Hairouns and pleasantly parked ourselves on the veranda… but it turned out it wasn’t.
You couldn’t quite see what I could hear was a nearby beach from where we sat. Between the tall sea grape trees and their shorter descendants, it was almost completely obscured. After a few moments (and maybe another beer, or two), I proclaimed that I was going to check it out.
I found a path through the bush, strode through, and there it was: paradise.
Well, Paradise Beach to be exact.
Waves barely five inches tall lightly tousled the sandy shore. The water was immaculate, Sandy Island seemed close enough to swim to, and above it all, the magnificent Caribbean sun continued to pour its warmth over me.
Seriously, it was paradise. A perfect day in paradise I’ll never experience quite the same way again… But that’s fine by me. In part because there are a ton more paradises out there worth experiencing and also because every time I recall this particular paradise in my mind, it only further cements itself as one of my life’s “true paradises.”
Paradise found, lost, and found again.