“I was never alone on a Bahamian Coral Reef,” remembers Ray Scott. “Life was all around”.
This conversation is happening at the little white tiled table in our big country kitchen in Cambridge, Upstate New York. My husband, Ray, is reminiscing. He takes me back to some times we shared when we met all those years ago in Nassau while I was vacationing. Other times, he was on his own in his underwater world where he felt quite at home.
He continues, “The beauty around me was at times mesmerizing. The real beauty of the Island is underwater. You can see everything in the Bahamas in 12 to 20 feet depth. You may even catch your supper (lobster or grouper). The water is so clear you can see as far as 100 feet in complete clarity, no danger of surprises. But just to feel secure I wore a 10 inch knife and carried a spear gun”.
These events took place forty years ago, but as Ray recounts them, he is under that clear aqua blue Bahamian water once more. “I never experienced water like that anywhere and I have cruised the Caribbean Islands in a sailboat”.
Ray did some paintings of tropical fish in acrylic and, “I had to use many thin coats, overlaid, to try and get the luminosity of these beautiful fish”. That’s how this conversation got started. Our daughter-in-law, Emily, had just emailed us a picture, using her iPhone, of the painting Ray had given her to remind her of her recent snorkeling experience.
As I looked at this picture of Ray’s painting on the wall of Emily’s Williamsburg apartment in Brooklyn, the juxtaposition of the free floating fish next to the black protective window guard struck me. I was remembering snorkeling with Emily in Florida this year. I hadn’t been underwater with tropical fish in many years; Emily was a novice; we were equally enthralled! I was wondering, “Does Emily feel trapped in a prison-like apartment like a beautiful colorful tropical fish captured forever in a white frame on her bright yellow kitchen wall?” A little exaggerated musing here…
Emily loves her writer’s loft apartment in Brooklyn and the darling man she shares it with. She is looking forward to her next adventure this summer on the coast of France with our son, Robin, her own personal tour guide, snorkeling teacher, and Tango street dancing partner. And Ray and I are so looking forward to the wonderful Posts that our very talented daughter-in-law will be writing for her Travel Blog: http://www.extremetelecommuters.com.