Thursday, June 28, 2007

Of Islanders.......



The word "islander" fills my head with Elvis, crooning songs from "Blue Hawaii". My mind's eye sees the hips of hula dancers undulating across the big screen in my head, their leis swaying to the ukelele music. My nose smells again the lovely perfume my Dad once bought for me called "Fiji". My toes itch for the grit of sand, and I just want to grab my bucket and shovel and head for the beach.

Because I too am an islander. I may not have the come-hither eyes or the lovely olive skin of Hawaiian hula girls. I may not have their undulating hips, or wear exotic flowers in my hair,or swish about in a grass skirt, but these were not requirements last time I checked. My pale eyes, freckled skin, and inability to undulate do not disqualify me. I am qualified by the mere fact that I was born on an island.

For all I know I could be descended from Vikings, those fearsome Scandinavian fellows with horns, who reputedly pillaged and looted all around my part of Ireland several centuries ago. And then, as our diminutive history teacher triumphantly told us, became more Irish than the Irish themselves. Which probably means they outdid the local lads in Guinness drinking and had all the lasses swooning over their stunning Nordic handsomeness.

So what of it, you say? What's the big deal? Well. If you must know, it makes me feel special. Being an "Islander" and all. It makes me feel like the ocean belongs to me. And I belong to the sea. Not that I'm brave or anything. I wouldn't be the one signing on for any Kon Tiki expeditions. I just love to be beside the sea. [Breaks into song---"I do like to be beside the seaside, I do like to be beside the sea, I do like to stroll along the prom prom prom, where the brass band plays, tiddly om pom pom...."

I guess it's really all about water. Rivers are good. Lakes are better. Oceans rock. The most soothing sound on the planet, to me, is the swoosh of waves hitting the shore. When you grow up on an island that sound is never far away. It hangs in the air and has a salty tang.......

12 comments:

tracey petersen said...

I have to agree with you. I found it quite unnerving to go to central Queensland and know that the ocean was nowhere near. I couldn't hear it or smell it. It was wrong. I don't need to swim in it (it's a bit too dirty) but I like to know that it is nearby.

Little Miss Moi said...

Dear molly. I guess I'm an islander too - Australia is an island after all! I have to say, this is the first time I've not lived on the coast in my life.

Liz said...

Go ahead, rub it in. I miss the water.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

I do believe Islanders are special and have a special connection with the sea.

In Billy Joel's song, "Downeaster Alexa" which laments the disappearance of fish and the island way of life, he uses this line to great poignant effect, "There's not enough Island left for Islanders like me.."

Me? Haha! I am more a freshwater man. Like the sea but I love my rivers and lakes.

meggie said...

Oh Yes!
I too am an Islander, & love to be close to the sea. I think all Kiwis love the ocean.

Tanya Brown said...

I knew you were special. Now I know one of the reasons why!

mjd said...

Lovely post and picture. You are an islander. Being by the water can be soothing as well as invigorating. Even though we are not near an ocean, we do enjoy short trips to Lake Michigan several times a year.

Stomper Girl said...

All this time I thought you were an Irelander ah ha ha ha ha ha...*ahem* sorry about that.

And there's lots of boys besides I should like to be beside beside the seaside beside the sea.

Isabelle said...

Yes, yes, the sea - love it. You're never far away from it in Edinburgh, but my grandmother's people came from Arran (off the west coast of Scotland) and it's one of my spiritual homes.

I always feel that the sea allows me to get my feelings in perspective. I may have troubles but the waves just go on turning over and will continue to do so.

Cf Old Man River.

ancient one said...

Even though I'm no islander, I love to go down to the ocean and just watch the waves, and smell the air, and pick up shells. Love your picture!!

Jocelyn said...

I agree. When occasional people tell me they don't love the water, I wonder what other species they're descended from...

Julie's journey said...

I'm an island too! The world's biggest island and I feel like I have won the lottery by being born here. The sound of the sea where gently waves or pounding storms is one of my favourite sounds but like you I'm not brave about the ocean. It scares me which cant really be a bad thing?