A Pristine Holiday
Pristine is not a typical word I would choose to describe my traditional holidays. Pristine – natural, unspoiled, untouched. Pristine – the antithesis of consumerism, materialism and man-made “stuff”. This phenomenon of pure nature, devoid of human touch, surrounded me this Christmas on Anegada, an island lined by 16+ miles of pure white sand. An island littered in conch shells, sun-bleached coral, and sea urchins. I was confronted with the contrast between my endless list of “to-do’s” and the harmonious waves ebbing and flowing. Simplicity surrounded me and demanded my attention, forcing me to look at life, time and the meaning of my existence. I found my place somewhere between the aquamarine shade of the shallow flats and the indigo hue of the sunset. I sensed a renewed reason for the season amidst the full moons glow. The plethora of decorations that had overtaken my holidays were washed away by cool salt water. Flamingos, donkeys, cows, goats, cats, crabs and iguanas walked among the 300 inhabitants of this dry flat coral reef island. The footprints of purchasing and the power of industry were washed out with the tide, leaving sand and turtle grass alone on the shore. Experiencing this habitat, virtually untouched by my fellow man, paradoxically inspired a Christmas wish for all. A wish for peace, serenity, and unadorned joy, a wish for unpretentious, trouble free, austere living. A wish to see value in ourselves and in our universe and to appreciate our natural beauty. A wish for a pristine holiday. The only thing missing was the snow and I am just fine with that!
Catherine Florio Pipas December 2018