Monday, April 28, 2008

A piece of land


It’s a normal morning. It is raining in NY. My alarm, crickets sing, I hit snooze. It is grey. I snuggle with my pillow under my covers, my little cave. I wonder at how much more precious my time in bed seems to me when I have so little of it left to savor. I am sure the covers never felt so nice in the weekend when I can linger at my leisure. The morning blur of electric toothbrush, makeup, lotion, shower, getting dressed finding my bag, my keys, running to catch the train, and finally finding my way to my desk.

My mother calls from St. Barth, there is a bulldozers tearing up the acacia native trees on my island. Trees that have taken an eternity to grow in those desert conditions and battered by sea salt and wind in the valley of Grand Fond. Trees that we have made of point of keeping to preserve the islands identity and to help the wild life that depends on its thorny branches to hide nests in. My mother tells me she stood in front of the shovel forbidding it to advance and she threw stones at it. The family gathers around the workers to protest the thoughtless onslaught on the property that lays beside my grandmothers house. Ligne de St.Barth, the ruthless and soulless owner of a company who makes lotions of what he claims are natural ingredients on the island, has decided to build another factory, storage or building. My uncle follows him and berates him for taking land from people who trusted him while leaving them with nothing. My aunt calls the lawyers to see if they can put a legal halt to his desecration. My grandmother, I imagine must be sitting somewhere trying to make sense of the commotion.

I am so far from my little island. One of the few places left on earth that still feels a little natural. My home. The land my ancestors refused to sell even as they had no money to eat so that they could one day pass it to the next generation. It is brutal to see how this same land is being taken over so thoughtlessly by foreigners who throw money around and who fail to respect the nature, but even more malevolent is to witness the gold diggers who drill at the islands surface, carving her rocks to spit what they hope will bring more money in their pockets.

I once heard a horrible story about an island called Nauru, that lost her soul. I wish I could stand on the tallest hill of my island and tell her story. Tell them to remember Nauru.
*Nauru is an island that was once nicknamed Pleasant Island for her natural beauty but has since has suffered her entire interior land to have been carved for the mining of phosphorus. Where the island was once a tropical jungle full of birds, crickets and animals, it is now a white pit leaving the inhabitants to ponder their actions on the edges of the island. They now worry that rising sea levels due to global warning will erradicate what slim outline of land they have left.

6 comments:

  1. How sad! Thank you for writing about this. I am sorry to read of it, but glad you wrote, if that makes sense.

    I love your blog and your writing style. Thank you for writing.

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  2. Yes it is sad. Little pieces of tree, birds, and crickets slipping away into concrete. The way I see we can always turn our faces away and tell ourselves we are not responsible but in the end we will all have to live with the results.

    Thank you for saying that Renoir girl! I never realized I had a writing style.

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  3. Your little island? You too? Oh, I know how you feel...

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  4. yes, i think of my little island as an extension of me and me as an extension of it. It welcomes and nurtures me with a sense of peace and I of course would like to take care protect it.

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  5. Good luck to the island. Let us hope that good triumphs.

    You do write well.

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  6. Thank you Drodbar, it seems that the person cutting up my families land to make his rode is well connected with the government. So we may have to gather public sentiment to support us...but for some strange unfathomable reason I have faith that it will work out.

    Thank you for saying I write well, it means a lot to me coming from someone so eloquent.

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