Rising up over the brilliant teals and blues of the Caribbean Sea I immediately missed several things distinctly branded in my memory.
The taste of fresh fruit, carved in front of you right off the seed or out of the skin. Sliced up or cracked open. From coconuts or star fruit, from mango to banana, and all the options in between. The explosion of flavor when the juices run wild over your tongue at first bite.
The aroma, sweet and warm, of coco bread in your hand. The almost buttery smell that lingers in your nose long enough to let your brain know: yea, this is gonna be good. That’s really how most food smells in Jamaica, like you’ve found a secret treasure.
The accustomed feel of humidity bathing your skin with gentle moisture. Don’t misunderstand, the stagnant heat and damp feel can be miserable, but it’s also a little special. Giving into the ever pressing heat means accepting you’re in Jamaica and you’re going to deal with the ridiculous differences that come your way, even the beads of humid air always on your forehead.
The mixing sounds of anything and everything this island has to offer. There’s a heartbeat to Jamaica that includes the honks and whirl of traffic, the lapping of the waves, the cackling birds, the varied speech of Jamaican patwa, and the sometimes faint, usually blaring melody of reggae music. One love. One heartbeat.
The colors that fill your eyes and raise your spirits. Just about everything outside the city in its constant state of green. While inside the city, like the flowers and fruits that accent the jungle green, the beautiful pop of brightness in houses, signs, and even trash. The paint brush strokes are broad.
It’s those items that have made this trip an overload for the senses but painted the beautiful painting that is this love affair with the island.
Jamaica is a mysterious place. Juxtaposing harshness with kindness and spirituality with brutality. It’s a jungle, mythical in nature and magical in people.
It’s Jamaica and it’s magical