Une Petite Victoire

The last two days I’ve sat down probably three times each day trying to write something but everything comes out all wrong. Words don’t seem to do the feelings justice so I start over, I leave the pages unfinished, and hope that it’ll all come out nicer with time.

Yesterday struck me as a bit more difficult and not because it was Valentine’s because, well, as far as I’m concerned it’s just another day and I’m used to the distance of land and ocean but as a general day, it was a hard one. Being on vacation you’d expect my moods to be cheerier than usual but they’re not. My best attempts at dousing myself in sun haven’t offered any solace, but I try all the same. I’ll spare you the same old rant. By the afternoon we’d sunbathed, swam and put on our shorts and shirts and in the car to see the place of refuge. It was a beautiful winding road that reminded me of the drive to Tourrettes, Lili was carsick and I had Caleb trying to spot “cocadots,” as they’ve been affectionately renamed, for me on the side of the road.

We finally arrived and from the parking lot it didn’t look like much and, in fact, it really wasn’t a place for entertainment but it certainly was lovely. The huts, the boats, the walls of volcanic matter and their version of totems were beautiful. We walked over the Pahoehoe (pronounced pa-hoy-hoy) lava toward the coastline where waves were crashing violently against the rock, bigger than the days prior. I eventually walked toward them and breathed in the salty air, I let the rhythm take me in for a few minutes to clear my head. It was probably the most peace I’ve felt in months even though it was a mere fleeting moment. As I walked back toward everyone I prayed for a coconut. Yeah I know, it’s strange. I think I recognized I needed something frivolous, something to remind me of what I love in life: food, foraging, discovery, sustenance, creativity, et al, to bring me back into my own skin. I’ve felt that for many months I’m trying to fit into something that isn’t me. I’m working a job that’s alright, though not challenging (but I am thankful for the freedom of it), I’m living in a city that doesn’t feel me, in a country that doesn’t feel me, separated from my closest friends, lacking most of my creative materials on my downtime, without a kitchen and utensils to call my own and ever feeling unsettled. It’s all felt very uncomfortable and I feel shameful about it because there are people in the world who have bigger problems and mine is simply knowing I’m falling well short of my potential.

“We found a coconut!” yells Caleb. My pace quickens and I see that there are many fallen from the palms above. We searched high and low to find ones that might not be dried up. I started working away at one that I was pretty certain wasn’t going to cut it but I wanted, if nothing else, to invest myself in trying to open the husk. I had done some reading a few nights earlier on how to get to the nut and was well warned it was uncommon for newcomers to get it their first try so I persisted hitting it against the sharp lava until I had finally uncovered it, I wasn’t going to let the internet tell me I couldn’t do this. Later we found low lying fruit and picked some fresh ones. My hands are exhausted but my heart feels a bit better knowing that I managed to extract two coconuts on that beach. I need goals. When we made it home in the evening I drank the milk out of the younger one and this morning before leaving for the afternoon I plan to eat the soft, young meat of it. I may not be feeling where I’d like to be but at least I encountered a small victory.

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