The air is different this morning. It’s not the still, humid, slightly oppressive atmosphere we’ve become accustomed to during this long, intense rainy season. Which is not to say that the wet season hasn’t brought its usual abundant blessings. The hills are emerald green, lush with possibility. Wet season is the harbinger of hope that leaves you awestruck by the simplest of miracles – a ripe tomato on a stem, or the glimpse of a butterfly as it flits through flowering hibiscus. Rain, especially the kind of loud, large droplets that are the signature of tropical climes, is beautiful to me: the entire landscape is suddenly covered in a silver gauze that cleanses and makes new. But grey skies coupled with dim newspaper headlines can weigh a little heavy over time.
I’m not sure whether Trinbagonians notice the change in the social climate; it’s crept up on us rather surreptitiously. We are a warier people, slower to offer a helping hand or even a casual “good morning”. We’ve almost become the antithesis of all things “Trini”. We’re less spontaneous, less friendly, more cynical. And sadly, we’re becoming accustomed to the winds of change.
But not this morning. Today, there’s a crisp coolness in the breeze, a lightness of being, almost. It’s fresh and friendly. Like “long-time” Trinidad. The craftsmen working on our neighbour’s gate gave me a “hail out” as I passed, as did our friend from next door. The sky is a distinctive shade of Caribbean blue. Birds are chirping. Orange butterflies chase each other through the bushes. I keep my eyes peeled for a majestic Blue Emperor; I know it’s there, hiding behind places we don’t think to look. I want my country to wake up to her own beauty. The audacity of hope.