There’s an island in the Caribbean called “Saba.”
It’s five square miles, only has a couple of thousand people living there - basically just a forested mountain poking out of the water. There are no beaches to attract cruise ships or tourists. I’ve never been there, but it seems like a very low key, relaxed place where nothing much goes on. About the only thing it’s known for is the high quality lobster fishing.
When my wife comes home from work and finds me looking at houses for sale on Saba, she knows it hasn’t been a good day.
Last week I found a very nice little cottage that appears to have no phone or internet service. The price is actually more money than I have, but I figure once we’re there we can live on coconuts and bananas, and maybe my wife can take in washing while I learn how to catch lobsters.
I showed her the photo on the website as soon as she came in the door and said, “Saddle up…we’re moving.”
“What about the grandchildren?” she asked.
“We’ll send them plane tickets when we get settled,” I said.
She didn’t say yes, but she didn’t say no either, so I’m taking that as a hopeful sign.
It was kind of a long week. First of all, it was February. The temperature has been below zero for three or four hundred days and I’m getting a little sick of it. Then, an attempt at helping someone landed me in hot water, and immediately after that, I put five hundred miles on my pickup in order to tell a group of people some things that a significant portion of them would have preferred to not hear. To top it all off, I cleverly left my laptop behind and didn’t notice it was missing until two hundred fifty miles later.
Nothing huge - too much cold, one night’s lost sleep, a few icy looks, and a certain amount of begging aimed at the people who found my laptop, but taken in its entirety - I wanted to head for the island.
A few weeks ago, I went to spend a couple days working on my daughter’s house to spiff it up a bit before it they sell it, but found a few unexpected glitches. As a result, I was there a whole week with no phone, email or internet, sleeping on the last piece of furniture in the house, and talking only to clerks in hardware stores.
It wasn’t bad. I’ve never been a hermit, but I seem to have a natural talent for it. It’s been a while since I got up when my eyes opened, ate when I was hungry, and had only one task all day long. A change of clothes would have been nice, but otherwise…not bad.
We live in a complicated world and most of us live complicated lives. There’s not much help for that. We all play the hand we’re dealt, and in all honesty, I realize that I’ve been dealt better cards than a lot of people.
Still, it is worth hanging onto the dream of a simpler life, and enjoying it no matter what its form.
I probably won’t be moving to Saba anytime soon…I’m not sure I could live on bananas. Also, while Saba is just one huge mountain, that mountain happens to be a volcano, so there might even be a downside to living in paradise.