Friday, October 15, 2010

Rain and Rebirth.....

During the months and days coming up to Curaçao independence rained cats, dogs and chihuahuas. For those of you that know the island, this is rare indeed. The island is more like a desert with a beach; shrubs and bush, some tall trees and nothing of the luxuriant flora seen in other islands in the Caribbean. Everything that looks out of place, probably has been imported: like mango, palm and other fruit trees. Even the famous laraha (orange) used to make the famous Curaçao liqueur, was brought by the Spanish hoping to cultivate the sweet Valencia orange in the sunny island...well, they were disappointed. The fruit turned sour and can only be used to cook or to make the liqueur!

So when there is a really wet rainy season, or it last too long or both....everyone senses something is amiss. This year it has been raining for months, and not the kind of rain that usually pounds the island and dries as fast as it takes the sun to come out. No, this years it has been relentless and heavy, sometimes with awesome displays of thunder and lighting. That is so uncommon, people started to think that there was a reason the heavens were opening up in such a way.....The suspicious mind of islanders, who are always attuned with nature because their lives are so intertwined with it, immediately told them. It gets that way on the islands, you learned to feel the place, catch its vibes and understand the coming and goings. It is an experience, I tell you!

Anyway, it rained and rained and rained......there was flooding and the soil was saturated and the heat got unbearable, the mosquitoes and other flying pest came out in droves. I was there twice this Summer and couldn't believe was as if a wet blanket was wrapped around this piece of Paradise! A few times during the years I lived there, we had the odd long and wet rainy season, but this was really too much. The political climate was also not too cut and dry. There were elections and negotiations to form a coalition government and things were said and done and tempers was something else to watch and all the while it rained!

Finally, everything came to a point islanders understood: 10-101-10 was coming. All these displays of nature and people's behavior were just like a big lying-in......Curaçao as an independent country was about to be born and these were the pains of labor! The rain subsided and the rebirth has taken place. That difficult part over, this new country can take a deep breath and begin its new life. It is time for the people, like loving parents, to nurture and help and cajole and guide their new country into the force it can become in the Caribbean area.

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