I don’t work in the kind of profession that offers travel benefits. I’m not whisked around the country or region or world for business (or even pleasure) but sometimes – one time, really – there is flying.
I don’t work in the kind of profession that waits for you to feel better to do your job, that gives you sick days without a grudge or lets you sleep when you’re tired. My job makes you stay up straight for 36-48 hours. It forces you to save dying patients somewhere into your thirteenth straight hour of being on your feet. To think coherently and organize an inter-hospital patient transfer by army helicopter (because we don’t have actual medical helicopters).
Then my job expects you to fly a patient to the other end of the island, long past the time when you should have gone home to your boyfriend and your cat (your cat will never love you if you keep this up) while making sure this patient keeps breathing until you can get her the help she needs.
My job is endlessly demanding. Forcing tired, gritty eyes to watch the rolling greenery of the Cockpit Country, while deep inside your sleeping brain you wonder why the government wants to destroy this last bastion of nature, uninterrupted. Peer down at hidden away houses so high up in the hills you wonder how they got the cement and blocks that far. Watch buildings, light posts melt away to ponds and trees, the odd farm here and there.
To fly, lost in your thoughts and the steady roar of the engine that is fighting gravity for you. To fly until you leave behind the hills and valleys and peaceful farms and blend again into well-paved roads, multi-level architecture and
Look, there’s the hospital now. My job forces you to stay awake for hours and hours with no thanks. No pat on the back.
There is a tree that rests in naturalistic splendour behind our building on the hill. Its roots circumvent limestone rocks to wrap like loving arms around the slope of the earth and create a cradle of its bosom.
It has been My Tree ever since I laid eyes on it one afternoon exploring nature (as is my wont). It is a comfortable tree, with roots well worn by age, and more than once I have imagined fairies living and playing among its branches and vines and roots. And it is a pretty tree, allowing me to sit in silence and feel connected to the universe in a quiet, meditative sort of way.
The security guard at our building says it is a cotton tree, the kind that gets frequented by duppies (Patois for ghosts or spirits), and he was teasing me about always spending time out there.
I wondered – the connection I felt with the tree, could it have to do with the spirits that are said to live there? Or are my imagined connections just the consequence of an idle mind?
Last night I slept over with my university boarding friends so we could have our first all night drink-up to celebrate surviving our first year of medical school. Complete with Mortal Combat badassery, inebriated displays of affection and lots and lots of crawling (and falling, come to think of it), it was a night well spent. I have also found the one drink I can stand to imbibe over and over and over – can anyone say Stinger?
I’m not posting about last night’s drunken revelry, though. Today’s post is about this morning, and how waking up to the sound of waves crashing on a beach and the sight of a beauty-infused dawn has got to be the best feeling in the world. My boyfriend and best friends are still sound asleep, but I thought this was to pretty to pass up posting about. I can hear bird cries, see the horizon stretch for lazy miles, watch the early morning workers – fishermen and joggers – already up and about. If the security guard wasn’t so impossible to deal with, I’d be over at the beach right now, sinking my toes into the first fresh waves. But life can’t be perfect, right? And sometimes all we’re required to do is look but not touch.