This really happened. Day 2 in my Saba journey.
I want to be really clear. Saba is wonderful, magical, stunning. But. I didn’t go there for anything but to find my core. Initially, I wanted a vacation. I wrote about Day 1 here. Then, when I found out there were really no beaches in Saba, I knew that I would be going to deal with the alone-ness. I wanted to travel, but I didn’t want to wait for a relationship to do that. I insisted that I could do this by myself.
I am in an anonymous program, and I called ahead to see if there were meetings there. I heard nothing. I didn’t realize I needed to call the Caribbean version, not the USA office. Nonetheless, I emailed the owner of my cottage, and he said that alcohol is a way of life on Saba, and that there were no problems there. I panicked. However, being here a very long time, I knew that my people and God would sustain me one this one week in Saba.
The second day, I woke with sadness. Like, this wasn’t the life I wanted. The quiet. That even though I was alone, I still wanted to share a fun life-either with someone or with friends. But this ALONE time didn’t make me feel more connected, but less. It also made me acutely aware that I missed people. That I was having the same feeling looking at Instagram that I had in those weeks before leaving Facebook. A separateness, not a togetherness.
So. What was I going to do? I don’t drink, I am not dating, and have shirked off all potential suitors. (Weeks before I told my sponsor that I would really like a relationship, and she said, let’s first get you to commit to the same meetings every week.) I didn’t like my hair, I was beating up on my skin, and I was missing my son. This is what I woke to on the second day of Saba.
And the chickens. The roosters. They had been crowing for an hour, and the moon was out. The island was cool. I liked it, from a purely hiking and activity point of view. The Sea was magnificent as I watched it in the morning. Watching the sun rise over the mountain was stunning. I knew I was here for some reason. And then maybe the reason was simply not to have a grand plan. That’s it. Nothing more. Just a trip.
That I was insignificant.
And. There it was. I was writing, and the tears started to stream down my face. That I didn’t matter. That I was unimportant. I started reading Gift From The Sea. I thought my feelings were different.
- What is the shape of my life.
- What is my obligation to man and the world?
- How do I remain whole in the midst of distractions?
- How do I balance solitude & communion?
- I must retreat and return.
- I shall ask in my shell only those friends whom I can be completely honest.
- I am shedding hypocrisy in human relationships.
Then I stopped copying notes from the book, and wrote: “I really like this pen! Thank you to whomever designed it!” I suddenly had the awareness that someone’s LIFE’S WORK was in this pen, and I should be grateful. More Gift:
- Existing in the present.
- We are all, in the last analysis, alone.
- How one avoids being alone. It seems to imply rejection & unpopularity.
- We choke the space with continuous music, chatter, companionship. When the noise stops there is no inner music to take it’s place.
I kept killing ants and apologizing at this point.
- When is one is a stranger to oneself, one is a stranger to men.
- The core can be found through solitude.
I was finding in the moment that all of a sudden I didn’t care about what others think I should care about. The hiking here, or going in the water. That I wanted to make this trip seem important by doing those things. To please others. Again! As if going in my core wasn’t enough. Wasn’t big on its own. And it was. It is.
I ate dried organic mango, raw almonds. I had my pen & paper. I had water. And I had this sunrise.
Solitude. It wasn’t even noon yet.
It is Sunday on Saba, and I have written and read a whole book. It is a true housecleaning. And I had no idea what was up ahead.