While I was in Jamaica with one of my best friends, we had the opportunity to go on an excursion that involved floating down a river on a bamboo raft. I had no idea that it would be a day of a major shift in my spiritual awakening and deepen my connection to my higher self (As I started to write this, I began to realize that this story is so much more than just one post. So enjoy part one and please come back for part two later on).
The day aligned so beautifully, it is no doubt that our angels were guiding every moment. Jenni and I walked out to the place where the buses were lined up. A bright, beautiful bus caught our eye and we were excited for that to be our means of transportation to our destination. As the line of people got on the bus, it became clear that we would be on a plain, white small bus/large van. We weren’t disappointed though- we realized that we wanted to be one of the last pairs arriving in hopes of having a more private bamboo raft tour and this van was following the big bus.
Our flexibility was rewarded with us having the long very backseat to ourselves- leg room and a window for both of us. One of the most beautiful parts of mine and Jenni’s friendship is that neither of us ever fill forced to fill silence. On that bus ride we sat silently, taking in all of the beauty that was around us. We were so happy to be seeing more than just the resort. We wanted to experience more of Jamaica.
The bus weaved up and down the lush, green mountains on tiny dirt roads- when another car would pass, you could feel the collective group hold their breath. The views were unreal. The deepest green of the jungle in contrast to the bright blue sea, the beauty can bring tears to your eyes. We pass by vibrantly painted cement houses with a rainbow of colors hanging to dry on the clothesline. Goats roamed the streets and at one point we had to pause for a herd of cattle crossing the road. The businesses were also brightly painted, but the windows were covered in fences and chains. There was something so vulnerable and intense about the town. Everything was so beautiful, but there was a since that everyone understood that nothing is beautiful all of the time.
Groups of Rastafarian men sat on corners, playing cards and rolling dice. Small children walked around, drinking water out of a fresh coconut. I was in a different world than my own and I was grateful for the growth.
When we arrived to the place where we would be getting onto the bamboo rafts, Jenni and I were immediately drawn to the same guide. He must have been drawn to us as well because he turned away another couple and helped us get on board. We had planned on mentioning to our guide that he could hang back for a minute and let the rest of the group get a head start. Before we could speak, he smiled at us and said, “No rush, mon.”
No rush, mon.
As we begin, we stop underneath this intricate cement bridge. Our guide, Lennox, teaches us that the bridge was built by slaves in the 1800s. We sat underneath that bridge, looking up. It felt like someone was looking back at you. The spirits of those slaves definitely remain as a part of that bridge.
A part of the excursion was a limestone foot rub. Lennox covered our feet and legs in limestone right out of the river. The limestone helped us feel protected from the sun and it felt as if it was drawing toxins right out of our body through our feet. As Lennox is applying the limestone, I mentioned to Jenni that this is “the perfect time in our lives to be having this trip.”
Lennox looks up to me and says, “Let me tell ya something, Chelsie. Life is always changing. It is always perfect and it is never perfect.” I am in awe. His words moved me and are a part of my heart now. Lennox continued to impress us the entire tour. He talked about his own life, the Rastafarian culture, his experiences of Americans and other cultures, and life itself. I am forever grateful to have met Lennox.
After Lennox rinses the limestone off of his hands, we cheer with some rum punch. Lennox tells me there is something he wants me to do and holds out for my hand. I do not even hesitate as he leads me up to the front of the raft. The bamboo is slippery and the round shape makes it only slightly difficult to find my balance, but I find it. A few years ago (maybe not even that long ago), I would have politely declined Lennox’s offer. I would have been too afraid. I would of played small.
I played big. I trusted myself to let go of Lennox and hold onto the stick. I was seeing the view that Lennox saw. I saw the jungle of Jamaica laid out before me. I wasn’t afraid. I was brave, empowered, and guided. I understood that this was a spiritual assignment to play big. I was proud to show up for this assignment.
The rest of the trip held even more miracles. Miracles that are so beautiful and moving, they deserve their own post. Check back later for part two of this story!