Its gusting 50+ here in Bimini and Hurricane Sandy is blasting the more easterly Bahamian islands with 100+ winds… there are whitecaps in the bay, the birds are roosting in the trees and my neighbor’s shingles are being torn off his roof by the wind. I pulled my rubber zodiac ashore this afternoon with the help of my neighbors, and it reminded me once again why i live here on this small friendly island.
I keep my boat on the dock at Fab’s conch stand, and i put it up on dry land between his and his brother Brave’s house when i go away, as i will next week when i leave for a month.
But this afternoon, as i pulled my boat up onto the beach, taking the motor off and anchor out, before i had a chance to ask for help, four neighbors shooting the breeze at the conch stand marched out into the rain and each grabbed a corner of my boat.
“You can put it over here, Joe, next to Fab’s boat. The wind won’t be so bad to have to carry it across the street.”
“Just tie it off between those coconut trees; it’ll be fine there.”
Five of us, more than was needed, did the job in a moment. The support i felt moved me deeply. Simple acts, born of friendship and generosity. My shyness came up, touched by their kindness. We all went into the conch stand and i listened as they told stories of pulling boats off of reefs and beaches in other, more powerful; hurricanes over the years.
The eye of the storm is 120 miles east of us, and the National Weather Service in Florida is predicting seas of 20 to 27 feet tomorrow, just twenty miles west of us. Nature humbles me yet again.
Karen shows up with a huge tray of fried wahoo head and backbone; it was delicious. I’ve learned to never throw a fish head into the sea again. Matt and Kuna make fresh conch salad for a few workers who ventured out from the closed resort up the road. I buy a round of beers and sit; doing my best to keep up with the stories flying back and forth, feeling warm and dry and in good company, while the wind blows around us.
Joe Noonan is an author, dolphin whisperer and shamanic nature guide. A guest on National Geographic, Fox TV and Oprah, Joe reflects back to people that this world is already a Heaven on Earth, and that the tools to find joy in the moment are around and within us. He offers workshops, internet programs and nature retreats that awaken us to our divine joy and connection with Nature.
“Joy is the most infallible sign of the presence of God” Tielhard de Chardin
© Joe Noonan