Sunday, July 27, 2014

Back to the Beginning (Bahamian Blogging # 14)

Our arrival in the Bahamas was a little unusual.  I was expecting beaches and palm trees.  Alas, they would have to wait.  My cousin and her friends picked us up at the airport in Freeport, and we immediately went to a health food store, where we shared vegan fudgesicles. Since I am very fond of my own health food store, as well as fudgesicles, this was like being at home, and was a perfect welcome for me.  We had missed lunch, so this was a wonderful treat, as well.

From there, we went to Pinder's Point.  One of the songs on the C-Force CD (the Classical Caribbean music trio of which my cousin is a part) was titled "Pinder's Point" and everyone wanted to see this spot about which they had played.

Pinder's Point was the place Chris Justilien was reared and where he began his musical career, playing the organ in the church his father pastored.  We had the opportunity to explore the small community at Pinder's Point, visit the home in which Chris grew up (above), and meet his sister Arlene. Chris had a happy reunion with some of the people who still lived there.  

This is Chris with his sister Arlene. She is as sweet as she is beautiful. We loved her instantly. 

Since we were taking in the sights, we also visited the Pinder's Point Cemetery, which was adjacent to the beach. It was a rock-strewn beach with a lovely view

Chris told us stories about fishing for sardines on the beach and taking them home for breakfast, as well as tales of long-ago adventures in the little community. He was full of smiles as he remembered those happy childhood days, and it was evident they had shaped the man he has become. Chris is not only a professional musician, playing multiple instruments, but is a composer, band leader, active community servant, and assistant professor of music at the College of the Bahamas. 

What is most important about Chris, however, is not how well he plays instruments, composes, or speaks.  What is important about Chris is that everything he does is infused with the aroma of his faith in Christ.  The lessons he learned at his father's knee have born fruit in a life that is full of caring, service, and love.  This gentle man may have left the simple community of Pinder's Point, but he carries the truths he learned there deep in his heart, and they exert a gentle influence on him every day.  

When I met Chris, he instantly felt like family.  When I saw him at Pinder's Point, where his musical journey began, I realized he is family.  The journey back to the beginning was important for us to know Chris a little better.  The journey back was just a happy reunion for Chris.  He carries Pinder's Point, his "starting place", with him everywhere he goes.  That's what we should do, too.