Caribbean Journal

Discovering Love in Jamaica

October 5, 2017

Love comes in many forms. The older I get and the more I travel, the broader I expand my definition of love. Surely, love for a man, a child, or one’s family is a force to be reckoned with. But why stop there? Wanderers will recognize love for the world as one of the defining relationships of their lives. One can develop love for one’s land, for music, for ballet and for dinners with friends. If it gives you comfort and brings even the slightest amount of joy into your life, nurture it.

Except for the standard set of facts—a Caribbean island nation, proud birthplace of Bob Marley and reggae—I did not know much about Jamaica when I landed in Montego Bay one rainy afternoon, that type of a day when time stands still and nature itself is motionless from the heat. Over the course of one week, I came to love Jamaica’s jagged westernmost cliffs, wide expanses of its treacherous country roads, the tousle of its verdant forests and lush mountain peaks perpetually shrouded in clouds. I tasted delicious mangoes for the first time in my life and discovered, with gladness, that Jamaicans count more than ten varieties of this incredibly giving fruit.

I also deepened my understanding of the legend himself, Bob Marley. As many before him who’ve come to this world with an important message, Bob Marley left us too soon. But he gave us hope and he taught us how to love—both lessons reverberating through our hearts and minds to this day.

Jamaica is not perfect. Among the poorer nations of the Caribbean, it grapples with grave realities: tourism overdevelopment, inequality, and corruption. Yet, as I sat on the edge of the world—or so it seemed—watching sun fall into the azure waters for the last time, sweet mango juice running down both of my arms, I remembered the words of Jamaica’s beloved son: “She’s not perfect—you aren’t either, and the two of you may never be perfect together but if she can make you laugh, cause you to think twice, and admit to being human and making mistakes, hold onto her and give her the most you can.”

I gave it all I had in Jamaica.

Discover some of Bob Marley’s most poignant thoughts as you travel through Jamaica with me

1. Open your eyes, look within. Are you satisfied with the life you are living?
First steps into Frenchman’s Cove, a tiny strip of a beach near Jamaica’s northern town of Port Antonio.

2. One love. One heart. One destiny.
Bob Marley’s presence is palpable throughout the island, including this ramshackle beach street near the world-famous Negril.

3. Don’t gain the world and lose your soul, wisdom is better than silver or gold.
Frenchman’s Cove beach is a meeting point for an emerald freshwater stream and the Caribbean sea.

4. The winds that sometimes take something we love are the same that bring us something we learn to love.
Boston Bay on Jamaica’s northern coast holds dramatic cliffs and incessant surge of the waves.

5. When one door is closed, don’t you know, another is open.
A cliffside Airbnb rental near the beaches of West End offers palms and surf for days.

6. Love would never leave us alone.
Due to frequent rains, verdant vegetation blossoms in June in Jamaica.

7. Just because you are happy does not mean that the day is perfect but that you have looked beyond its imperfections.
Everyone should experience the delight of an outside shower once in their lifetime.

8. There will never be no love at all.
How about your own private shore in secluded Westmoreland parish?

9. None but ourselves can free our minds.
Jamaica holds many secrets inside its mountainous core—including the Mayfield Falls. Their cool, crystal clear waters are accessible only by a steep mountain climb.

10. Love the life you live. Live the life you love.
Even though June marks the beginning of the rainy season, plenty of sunshine awaits on Jamaica’s solitary beaches.

11. You can’t find the right roads when the streets are paved.
Walking into the jungle for the first time is akin to discovering a whole new world.

12. You never know how strong you are until being strong is your only choice.
Water, salt, wind, and sun are your faithful Jamaican companions.

 

 

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1 Comment

  • Reply ipmcrete October 6, 2017 at 6:49 am

    Thank you for information.

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