It’s October, and there are very few tourists on the island so it’s mostly just us locals. There have been island-wide power outages throughout the week as the government installs a new generator in the power plant. No electricity means no phones and no internet, which at first seems inconvenient, but soon we recall this is how we grew up. This is how we live. The pot is still cooking on the coals, and we’ve managed to keep the drinks cold and the tea hot.
As the sun sets and the short tropical twilight turns to early evening people leave their houses, sit on their steps and mingle in the streets. Traffic slows down too as cars pull over to join the conversations.
When I was young people would leave their homes on full moon nights and use the bright of the moon and the cool of night to walk from village to village. Often we sat on street corners telling stories, sharing experience and sometimes just sharing company. We called those nights our promenade.
After a trip away, I’ve just returned to these sweet charms of Nevis, the warmth of hospitality and the embrace of friends. Arriving in the dark was like stepping back in time to candles and lamplight, before televisions and telephones. The night chorus seems so much louder in the dark with chirping, twinkling and ringing of tree frogs and crickets. Even the wind in the trees seems more personal, like I am being spoken to directly. I sit outside in the tropical evening adrift in a sea of stars.
Oh, it is wonderful to be back on Nevis. Don’t you agree?