Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Antigua I Love

View from Shirley Heights, Antigua 

When I was twelve years old, I dreamed my husband's face clear as daylight, standing in this place. In the dream I was standing next to him on top of this hill that I didn't yet recognize. Sea breezes whipped our clothes around us, and I looked into his eyes that in the dream were dancing, and I felt at home. I didn't meet him in the flesh for another fourteen years.


Blue Waters, Antigua

Blue Waters is where my parents lived when they moved to Antigua. My father had retired from the courts in Jamaica and taken a post-retirement position in Antigua. They stayed just long enough for me to meet my husband, then they moved to St. Lucia, where my father had been promoted, and where my mother still maintains their home.


Detail of St. John's Cathedral, Antigua  

I first saw the man I would later marry in this Cathedral. I was with my parents at midnight carol service on Christmas eve, just hours after flying in from New York. The man who was not yet my husband and his brother were walking up to the altar for communion, two handsome, stalwart pillars on either side of their elegant prayerful mother. The air around them was full of incense, and the Christmas lights made colorful halos in the smoke. I remember really noticing my husband that night. A year later we had met and were falling in love, and I introduced my parents to his beautiful mother after Christmas morning service at this church. Our parents loved this Cathedral and could be found in its pews every Sunday. My brother-in-law is now patiently and with great reverence and purpose working on the restoration of this centuries-old, memory-soaked building.


(Photos by Kevin Milz)

18 comments:

  1. Wow. Honestly- you guys should just GO! Make it work. That story is too magical and the place is too. I wish that for you...
    I think I dreamed of my husband when I was a girl too. I don't remember the face. There was just a boy and he held his arms out to me and I knew that when I met him, everything would be okay.

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  2. beautiful magical story....a kind of christmas miracle!

    gorgeous, gorgeous places....heaven on earth!

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  3. angella, this is a magical story. and how lovely that it revolves around Christmas Eve. It is unfortunate that your family won't go to Antigua this year, but it is difficult for me to imagine that you all dont carry some magic in every criss-crossed strand of DNA.
    all best wishes for a warm and joy-filled holiday.
    it has been such a pleasure to discover your beautiful writing.

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  4. Beautiful photos, beautiful place and as always....beautiful writing. Your words never fail to move me.

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  5. Beautiful post. I, too, dreamed of my husband, long before I met him!

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  6. What a wonderful, romantic story. I'm sorry you and your sweetie won't be there for Christmas, but I know you'll be happy celebrating the holiday at home.

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  7. Ms. Moon, mouse, susan, susan jva, Tess, ellen

    It did feel very magical when it was happening, and even remembering it now. Antigua really spoke to my soul, the moment I stepped onto its soil I knew it held gifts for me, and that turned out to be so true. I will be forever grateful my parents spent a few seasons there. They gave me my future, really.

    Ms. Moon, what a comforting dream. wherever he was, he knew you needed him at that moment.

    mouse, it was a kind of miracle. they are everywhere, aren't they? i suppose the trick is to recognize them happening.

    Susan, how beautifully put! some magic in every criss-crossed strand of DNA. i like to think all of us have that. otherwise how to explain the magic of the connections made here, inside this mysterious light box.

    Susanjva, my real world friend whose presence in my life i cherish. i love that you cross over and see me here too. it means so much.

    Tess, I'm intrigued by how many of us dream our life partners before we ever meet them. We're so interconnected.

    ellen, there is something comfortable about waking up in your own home on Christmas morning. i know you understand! the book came!

    Thank you all for feeling this post.

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  8. On this, my 25th anniversary, I have visited with you and yours and I am content. My story is not quite as enchanted (I gave him an ultimatum!) but just as magical in it's own, ordinary way. I am so glad to have met you and I wish for long, dark and lonely afternoons to wander aimlessly through your story and beautiful prose. Wishing you a Blessed Christmas filled with love and warm memories.

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  9. Kathleen, welcome! I am so glad you stopped by. Your art is beautiful and I have been enjoying discovering your world through your blog. And I do believe every love story is enchanted, and the details are always magical. That love happens to us is the greatest thing there is. I am headed over to your blog right now to leave you a comment, just in case you don't see this one. May you and your family have a love-filled Christmas, too.

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  10. Angella, your love story is ethereal. It gave me chills just to read it. Learning about your beautiful family, about your heaven-sent marriage, brings such joy to my soul. I know it isn't always an easy road to make a marriage into what it is supposed to be, but when done properly, it is a miraculous and inspirational thing. Your marriage, your family, and the beautiful respect that you have for those who you love touches me deeply.

    I am glad to know you, dear Angella.

    Hugs,
    Debbie

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  11. And those photos are just breathtaking!

    Kathleen is a very dear friend of mine and I am glad to see her here! You will like each other very much:)

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  12. Debra, I'm so glad to see you. I hope you have a wonderful holiday with your weatherproof duckings!

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  13. Angela,
    You've told wonderful stories. So much good memories packed into this post. And photographs are stunning!
    Happy Holidays!

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  14. How fine, the way your tale of vision and magic allowed others to share their stories. So atmospheric, so visual. I am always drawn to a recounting of something known before the fact, affirmation of our gifts beyond the ordinary. Christmas and a promise fulfilled, thank you.

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  15. That amazing view from Shirley Heights is my favorite scene in Antigua... you got it at just the right time of day.

    You and your beloved were definitely a match ordained from heaven. Nothing is circumstantial...

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  16. Olga, they are stunning photos. I didn't take them, though I wish I had. I looked for photos that showed these places as close to the way they look in my mind. The lensman was Kevin Milz, such an eye. So happy to see you.

    Marilynn, we do know so much before the fact. I think we mostly discount what we know, or think of it as coincidence. i'm glad you came by.

    Deborah, this view is such an iconic one, but it's usually shown in daylight, so this photo of the coming night boasting its colors made me gasp. The colors remind me of some of your silk paintings! Have a wonderful time in Antigua this xmas.

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  17. What a romantic story -- you know, my husband and I went on a vacation together when we were only dating. It was Antigua -- I think I have a picture of Shirley Heights -- that view -- and I can still remember the lilt of the accent of the people who said, "Shirley Heights." Thank you for reminding me of that beautiful country, that beautiful time in my life. I am inspired to perhaps craft a post about it --

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  18. Elizabeth, i am so glad you were reminded of something good. I look forward to reading that post.

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