Part 16: Becoming A Local

I ended up renting a tiny room in a somewhat fully functional type of shack. It was a share with a rather introverted Vietnam vet who grew up on St John. He built the shack on his mother’s property overlooking a south eastern bay heading into the South Atlantic. It had a simple indoor bathroom and kitchen. The shower was outside and he rigged up a long run of circular coiled copper tubing on the ground which sat in direct morning sunlight. This was gravity pressure fed from the main cistern on their property and supplied about five to eight minutes of a very comfy hot shower in the morning. Although this simplicity was very luxurious, water conservation was at a height due to a severe lack of rainfall in that area of the South Atlantic ocean. That was no issue for me since environmental preservation had been a way of life and mindfulness all along. I rented the tiny room for three months and then moved on to an airy spread on the east side of St John called Upper Carolina. This looked out over breath taking Coral Bay where the routine seaplane would come in for mail delivery once a day. I had great and inspiring times playing many gigs in a number of varying scenes all around Coral Bay. Life was good!

For now, one of the two pinnacles of all experiences in the USVI was my three night a week piano gig at Caneel Bay Resort. I would spend most of my days reading and swimming in a remote part of Hawksnest Beach, head to Caneel bay at about 3:30, wash up, have some dinner and play my solo piano gig in a trippy environment of the torch lit open-air Sugar Mill Restaurant. Pretty regularly, if they weren’t too terribly hit with a rush of large table reservations during the prime tourist season, the head chef who expressed his appreciation for my contributing to his ambiance, would have a beautiful, right off the menu dinner waiting for me at the end of my last set. Glass of Cabernet or Merlot as well. I would close my eyes and have to pinch myself to assure that I was still in this Earthly body, living in this life! It was Gratitude, gratitude, gratitude.

Hope you have enjoyed the journey thus far -  More to come !