I stand here, looking across the beach which was shaded by the few clouds in the sky. This is the whitest sand that I'd ever seen. In truth, the beaches that I'd been to before now were all kind of a brownish color. Hard to get away from that in New York. I guess this fact made what I was seeing even more surprising. An inner peacefulness was washing over me as I remembered that I was spending this vacation in Trinidad and Tobago. The warmth of the sun mildly bathed my face in a relaxing way and not a burning one which I had expected. Tobago feels like a paradise.
It's hard to tell if the people that are shuffling pass are natives or tourists like myself but it doesn't matter. The few souls scattered around are all displaying the same relaxed demeanor. As I walk through the warm grains towards the anxious waves, I'm happily reminded of my little partner by the tugging on my hand. My two-year old daughter, Danielle, is accompanying me on my journey. I hold Dani's hand a bit more tightly as she tries to quickly run forward in order to reach the watery playground. Dani has always loved the water and she'd play in it all day if she were allowed to. This child truly has no fear of her surroundings and could not imagine that the same might be unkind and caution should be taken. Of course, why should she fear when her mother and father were always taking the extra care to ensure her safety.
Dani shrieked in anticipation as she saw the approaching waves. As the water rose around her legs, I bent down and placed both my hands under her armpits. I proceeded to play the "Lift Dani up to the sky and then gently drop you back into the water" game. She knew that I did this quickly in order to save her from the watery force that would have pushed her away from her not so firm footing in the sand. She half glanced at me and then the wave as it came rolling towards us.
As I picked her up, she giggled loudly as her heels reached the sky. We played this game for a while, then I heard the expected command.
"Daddy, water" she said.
Dani stated this because she wanted to be put down. The water was now past her waist. She knew that I was not letting go of at least one of her hands.
Suddenly, a small wave flipped it's hand up and water was thrown into Dani's face. She did not use her free hand to wipe her eyes but simply shook her head and laughed.
"Lloyd, be careful," a distant voice called out.
From a crumpled towel on the far away beach, my wife Wendy was keeping a watchful eye on the entire proceedings. The protective mother hen sounded concerned but never moved the eyepiece of the bulky camcorder away from her face
I picked Dani up one last time and used her tiny body in order to wave back at Wen. After placing her back in the water, we slowly gripped our toes into the shifting sand and we walked back in the direction of the beach. Dani began to complain but only just a little. She was having too much fun kicking the sand and water in front of her. Wen smiled as we approached, never lowering the camera.
We usually remember the huge, exciting events in our lives but the simple and peaceful ones need to be given a lot more credit.
Spend ten minutes with me as I relax in Tobago.
Click the picture to see the video.
(Yes, she was a little younger back in the day.)
The greatest happiness you can feel is when you share with someone you love.