Saturday, May 1, 2010

Confessions of a Morning Jogger

Imagine this. You wake up, walk a short 10 minutes to the beach from your home and the most difficult decision in front of you is deciding on whether to take a left or a right down the sandy beach for your morning jog. This was exactly my 7 am routine today. I went left.

It was a beautiful jog and as I began I thought of all the places I have ever jogged and how my best jogs are near bodies of water—whether that is Ladybird Lake in Austin, Texas or the Caribbean there’s something about being near reflective water that well, helps me reflect. I wish I had brought a camera on this particular jog, but I will try my best to describe it for you.

I doled out various salutations to travelers, fisherman and St. Lucians on my way. Then I saw two fishermen pull out a silvery, sliding fish and begin to gut it. Not the prettiest thing for a vegetarian to witness, but I didn’t let it get me down. Just a few feet later I noticed a cemetery near the beachfront. What an interesting place to set down a cemetery amid hotels and restaurants (though I’m sure the cemetery was there first). It was quite beautiful though to see all the crosses from the headstones near a white sandy beach.

Continuing on my jog, I came across about 40 St. Lucians huddled near the water all watching some type of event taking place in the ocean. So I wondered what they were looking at and saw two men holding the arms of teenager wearing a red shirt. I stopped to ask a man what was going on, and apparently this was a baptism. Several teens were being immersed in the healing Caribbean waters of St. Lucia after deciding to become Christians. Witnessing the ceremonial baptism served as a good reminder to me that we are all humans. And to live is to err. And to acknowledge our mistakes is to start anew. Everyone deserves a second chance. What better place to get a second chance than by the shimmery, clear waters of the Caribbean?

Religion plays an important part of the culture here in St. Lucia. As it turns out over 60% of St. Lucians identify themselves as Roman Catholic. My contacts here tell me that St. Lucian Catholics are quite different than American Catholics though (their stated opinion). When I asked what the opinions are of the Pope here, he asserted that, in his view it doesn’t matter either way to folks. There seems to be a separation between spiritual practice and the head of the church from what I gather. Most likely the beach baptism this morning was not a Catholic baptism but of another Christian sect. People also worship as Seventh Day Adventists, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Baptists in St. Lucia.

On my return jog past the group they had all but finished and were slowly walking toward their cars and returning to their homes. For tourists who were to walk out after 8 am they would never know about the ceremony that took place earlier this morning. But I did, and I was envious of those delicious looking waters near the end of my jog. I caught one final glimpse of the group as a mother hugged a water drenched teen. What a neat way to start the day.


David said...

Very interesting! I feel like I was there on the beach with you watching the baptism.

libélula azul said...

What a wonderful way to start the morning - thanks for taking us readers along with you on the jog!

Captain Judy said...

Thanks for jogging with me yesterday, David and LA. It was a pleasure taking you along with me on the beach. = )

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