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Today is a beautiful day to be alive

A week ago, as I drove around the island doing errands but stopping long enough for a short stint at the beach, I sent a text to a friend. It said, "it's a beautiful day to be alive." I had been stressed about uncertain details in my life, like moving, money, responsibilities and employment. The scenery that met my eyes and delighted my senses, lifted my spirits, and reminded me of the beauty of this life and this island.

Later that evening, I witnessed the horror of one human taking the life of another.

There is much talk that flies around on a small island such as this one, accusations, rumors, fear, anger but also support and love. I have lived on St. Croix for 15 years this week and I love my island just as much as ever. When crimes have happened, I have refused to run away or cower in fear. Each time it hits a little closer to home, I have remained, and still, that has not changed. The last week has been a tempest of emotions, but I have chosen to direct my focus to the positive, as the bumper stickers say, "Positive is How I Live".

The world looks a bit different through my eyes this week, but the beauty is still there. I'm smiling at the infinite blue green hues of the Caribbean Sea, the brilliant blue skies and the way the fiery Flamboyant blossoms sit against it, contrasting the island's lush greenery. I appreciate the friendly motorists who let me go in front of them - for no reason, the family at the small laundromat I frequent, who always remember my name and greet me with a smile, walking into nearly every restaurant on the island and being greeted on a first name basis - and usually friendly hugs. Perfect, beach side island weddings, and experiencing the beauty of love and friendship - new and old, people coming together to celebrate, in life and love. Singing, dancing, laughing, crying. Walking dogs on beaches, the fresh tracks in the sand of endangered nesting sea turtles, birds that sing and reply just to know another is out there, sleeping with my cat curled up next to me - his soft fur touching my leg just enough to know he is there - as we both seek comfort in each other with our new and still unfamiliar surroundings. Friends and family, and extended family, and their incredible support. My island, my life.

Yes, positive IS how I live and today (yes today) is a beautiful day to be alive.
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