My birthday’s have held special significance the past few years. Richard’s first trip to Dominica was for my birthday, we were engaged a few days after my birthday on our layover in Puerto Rico. A year later we were celebrating my birthday in Las Vegas just a few days away from leaving for a week in NY before embarking on our international move. This year just on the cusp of our first expat-iversary I got to celebrate my birthday surrounded by some of the wonderful people we’ve come to call friends.
Yesterday we woke to stormy skies and pouring rain which could have derailed the entire day, but this is Dominica, and we play in the rain. I was able to pay my respects to the ocean, submerging myself in the sea with Rich & Dafar, returning to the surface with an offering for the pot-luck bbq I had planned for the evening. Our diverse group of friends gathered on the beach at Douglas Bay to share delicious food made with love, and spark a bon fire.
I prepared BBQ Pulled Jackfruit and garlic cheddar sun-dried tomato buns, Rich made his special Lionfish Ceviche and our friends brought homemade hummus, a vibrant Veggie Quinoa, perfectly cooked Lentils, Mushroom Risotto, Breadfruit (roasted whole on the BBQ), and one of our favorite couples had procured some of my favorite coconut punch from Monty’s! The food was spectacular and I think everyone went home happy and full, I know I did.
Once I had cleaned my plate and the rain had let up a little Ash and I made our move for the fireside with our big beach blanket and a cup of Coco Monty. The group trickled over by the fire where we warmed ourselves and basked in the glow. Music floated through the air cut by chatter, laugher and the sound of clapping waves and just as they trickled over, they trickled away into the darkness and back to their respective parts of the island. After cleaning up the remnants with our last two party animals, Rich and I lay by the fire, watching clouds blot out stars and unwinding until the fire was reduced to hot coals that could be covered in sand.
It was everything I had wanted. The simplicity of Dominican life, a birthday on the beach, by the fire, under the stars, surrounded by friends, nature and possibilities. I have no idea what the next year of my life will hold, but this celebration of life certainly got me ready for whatever this terrestrial adventure has in store for me.