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BC’S B’DOS – This fair rock

B.C. Pires

BC’S B’DOS – This fair rock

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COOL OCTOBER MORNING and the devil himself could almost believe in God if he had the good luck to be sitting on a beach in Barbados, or even where I am in Barbados, which is stuck in the usual huge morning traffic jam at the Garfield Sobers Roundabout; today, it stretches so far back up Pine Hill that I can see, from my standstill position in front of the LIME building, the glittering blue sea under a cloudless sky. God, how I love this island.
Love them all, in fact, or at least all the ones I’ve been to in the chain stretching from Guyana, that vast South American continental small island in the south, to Jamaica in the north – a big island compared to the rest of us in the same way Pommie Mbangwa makes Courtney Walsh look like a batsman – great big Jamaica with CARICOM’s second smallest currency, the continent of Jamaica that cursed all her sisters for their smallness but blessed us with reggae music and, I’m told, the best ganja God ever grew and Rastaman ever cross-bred.
But it’s the rock I’m on that I’m loving the most this fine morning, where love seems possible for all, even the misguided youth aiming for the good life but ending up in Dodds, small-time gangsters striving to be big shots but ending up shot dead.
We got to deal with them or they’ll bring us all down, the whole firetrucking chain of islands linked together by history and destiny.
But this fair rock is where I make my stand and hope for the best of us to emerge, this easternmost speck of a whole heap of specks, the arrowhead pointing the way forward for the world – and pointing back to Europe, Africa and Asia, I notice, as the car in front moves one grudging length, then stops.
Have we cocked it up in the Americas?
No, not in these islands. Not yet. Because there is hope in Barbados. Because I love this fair rock.
Because, when you cut out the false motivations, the imagined rewards in Heaven, these particular people are the fairest I’ve ever met, outside of Scandinavia.
My lane begins to flow, slowly, then rapidly, and although I can’t see the roundabout, I know why: because the clowns who were blocking the airport-bound lane from entering the roundabout have moved.
Most people in Barbados will refuse to block someone else’s path; indeed, will sacrifice their own small advancement to treat the other person fairly and let him go on his way, and wish him well to boot.
What a thing – that people, themselves treated unjustly for centuries, should choose to treat others fairly. This is the secret Barbados holds for the West Indies and the world: the human spirit, if undefeated, yields love and makes all of us our brother’s keeper.
Cool October morning and I filter through Sir Garfield and head on to Top Rock, leaving hundreds snared in my rear-view mirror, almost all patiently doing the right thing.
Thunderclouds could burst now; I’d still love this fair rock.
B.C. Pires is grinning in traffic.