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The Edge, But Not The End

 
 panaramic photo of Lighthouse Point

panaramic photo of Lighthouse Point

After living in The United States for seven years, I decided to return home to The Bahamas. I wanted to pursue my career at home so that I could give back to the country that raised me. I knew it was going to be a challenging transition. After all, I had been gone for so long and did not have many current connections. My family was gracious enough to allow me to live with them until I got established.

However, a month went by and no opportunities presented themselves.
Two months go by with some signs, but nothing concrete.
Three months go by and it started to feel like moving back home may have been a mistake.
About four months go by and this seemingly stagnated time of my life began to take a toll.

Welcome to the stage: anxiety and depression.

Times were bleak in my mind. Many days I just stayed home, read what I could to stay fresh, and surfed the internet. All the while, I was masking feelings of hopelessness. On a normal day, I was good with not being noticed or seen by anyone. And so what happens at the peak of this time? My friends want to be extroverted and go explore the island.

Awesome.

Now, I had agreed to this months ago, but it just so happened to unexpectedly coincide with one of the lowest moments in my life. The idea was for us to visit each end of the island of Eleuthera—the north and south ends. Now, I knew this island pretty well. After all I grew up there. But I don’t think I was prepared for what would happen, particularly in the southern part.

Here’s the thing about getting to the most southern point of Eleuthera. The closer you get to the end, the rougher public infrastructure is. The distance from the last public road to the beach is about two to five miles. It was quite a trek for five of us packed in a 2004 Toyota RAV4 on an unpaved, rocky road. The only traffic we encountered were the crabs and other assorted creatures crossing the...path. It was treacherous, slow, but hilarious. Between making fun of my friend’s driving and grossly miscalculating how long it takes to get to the beach, it was the best of times. I remember thinking to myself, “When was the last time you sincerely laughed this much?” After about forty minutes, we look up to see these tall, majestic, palms trees. We roll down the windows to taste the salty air. We made it through the many dangers, toils, and snares. We hop out, grab our stuff, and begin the short walk up the hill. As we turn the corner, we gaze upon a massive expanse of the finest blue ocean with mammoth, jagged, yet gentle looking cliffs sitting on beautiful white sand.

In one piece, we made it to Lighthouse Point.

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Now, the lighthouse itself is nothing much to see. It is a utilitarian, square building with an old light post. But that’s not what we went for. We wanted the sun, sand, and sea. After exploring the paths, we all took moments sitting on the cliffs. When it was my chance, it was breathtaking, yet also breath-giving. I sat there for what could have been a few minutes, but felt like hours. For once in those last few months, I felt at peace. In that moment, I was surrounded by the wonder and the wild. It was almost incomprehensible to experience being at the very tip of the island without any disruption. For as long as I sat there examining the expanse of the ocean, I look to my right to see another island or cay that was not made plain to me before. And because I wasn’t familiar with this part of the island, I didn’t know what island or cay it was. It was all a rush of awe. And it was in that moment, I paused and started crying.

I don’t know how else to describe this. In that moment, I felt overwhelmed by the presence of something greater than myself. It was as if God sat next to me and spoke to me in the middle of anxiety and depression. As I listened, I sensed God impressing that even though I may feel I am at the edge of life, I was not at the end of it. No matter how much I thought there was nothing more for me, there is actually more beyond the horizon if I pause and take in everything around me. I found hope through creation.

I found eleutheria—freedom.

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I tell this story not to appeal to your pity. I tell it not to appeal to your religious beliefs or the lack thereof. I tell it to appeal to your compassion—not for me, but for creation itself. It is disheartening to think that there is still talk about such a sacred and healing space in our country potentially being desecrated. We stand to lose so much when we forget that our Creator made us alongside creation to live in harmony with it. As stewards of this earth, we are meant to protect it, preserve it, and participate alongside it. For our particular economy, intentions for development can be a good thing. But good intentions may not always yield good results. I unquestionably love my country. However, our at times insatiable hunger for this ideal of “It’s Better in The Bahamas” may at some point just make things worse in this archipelago. To this end, I support the Save Lighthouse Point campaign. I would ask of you to please take a moment, digest the information, and (if you so choose) sign the petition

Because for today and tomorrow, eleutheria is at stake.

 
Keith Bethell7 Comments