The Milk of Human Kindness
Jacq Marie Jack
Blue holes fascinate me. When I received an invitation to join a group of fellowscientists investigating oceanic blue holes found nearAndros Island,Bahamas, I eagerly accepted. On the appointed day of the trip, the expedition organizers instructed us to report in the pre-dawn hours to a private airport nearFort Lauderdale,Florida, where the trip organizer randomly assigned us to small private planes for the flight over the Gulf Stream to our destination,CongoTown,Andros Island,Bahamas.
We boarded the plane in sleepy silence. After we took off, the noise in the plane prevented introductions or discussion. The turbulence during the flight kept me focused on not loosing the meager breakfast of orange juice and a sweet bun that but I gulped down at the airport which became increasingly difficult as the plane descended over the island of Andros and landed on the bumpy, rutted tarmac.
When I stumbled off the plane, the blast of hot tropical air and blazing sun stupefied me. Sweating profusely, feeling queasy and dehydrated, I crouched in silence with my fellow travelers under the shade of the plane’s wing out on the tarmac as we waited for the rest of the planes to arrive.
I noticed a dignified, professorial, white haired gentleman crouching by my right side when he stood up and walked off the tarmac and over to a coconut tree. He took off his shoes, shimmied up the tree and brought down a coconut. He descended, put his shoes back on, picked up the coconut, and walked back to the plane. I watched in silence as he raised the coconut above his head and slammed it down the tarmac where it broke open. He knelt down, scooped out the fresh milky meat with his hands, brought it to me and said, “Here, eat this. This will make it better.” And it did.