A tittle above sea line

Children's parade during Seine Bight Days in August. FYI: Northerners, it is always August in Belize.

Children’s parade during Seine Bight Days in August. FYI: Northerners, it is always August in Belize.

Here on the Placencia Peninsula we are as good as in the sea. I am not being figurative. At various points along the 19 miles between a couple buildings in Riversdale to the eco-tourist village of Placencia, the peninsula borrows a space from the Caribbean Sea of barely 200 yards in width. One can step one rung down on a ladder to a given resort or condo dock and validly claim below-sea-level stature.

The sea here does not stop at the tideline. It visits us quite often, as evidenced by rusty burglar bars on windows, rusty indoor refrigerators, rotten wood steps and rails, crumbling vehicles and drippings on the kitchen floor from snapper hooked only minutes before the cooking of dinner begins.

The Peninsula life is one that can bring new perspective to old eyes, an ancient epidermal to the bottom of a newborn’s feet, and unmetered time to dwell on things Caribbean, things worldly, and things that don’t amount to much more than washed away sand.

Here in Seine Bight—once a cultural hub for a people known as Garinagu that is now being squeezed like the last lime on a tree by a burgeoning phalanx of mostly anglo developments—the sea is a bed partner. Never more than a few hundred yards away, it gives, takes, shrugs, roils, rests, sleeps and wakes up with you. Just like the sand fleas that carpet its shoreline.

I first came here in 2003 by aegis of a kind couple who just wanted someone to stay at their newly built home away from home while they were out of the country. I stayed for nine months by virtue of an equally kind boss who granted me, in essence, a sabbatical from nine straight years at my editor’s desk in Seattle, Washington.

Time marches, tides change and I am now sitting here at home in Seine Bight, far from my single life in Seattle and eleven years after my first sight of Belize. I now have a wife, son and stepdaughter—each enchanting, vigorous and always challenging—who share with me our space between the lagoon and the sea.

So as you read a treatise, an encomium, a haiku, an analysis, report, rant, poem, regression or cerebral bilge on this site, take into its context a set of eyes that lived here eleven years prior to what is now a relative bustle of development, and eyes that are now eleven years older.

I hope at the least I can evoke a thought, a burp from the cranium, a recoil or even just a sigh from what I post on this blog, which is still waiting its windows, doors, steps and rooms while the sea’s breath lurches around my keyboard. Check in with me later.


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