It was the intensity of color that first hit my retina, forever altering something inside of me. The colors were so vibrant I felt I could smell them, lick them, dance with them and wrap myself in them. I remember feeling warm and alive, electrified and languorous.
I had come from the cool green of Britain and the searing, dry sandy land of the Middle East. I was not yet six years old, and had never imagined a place as ripe with life as this tiny island called Trinidad, smack in the middle of a swirling Caribbean. But names and geographic markers held no interest for me then, only the sensations that made me eager to wake in the morning, and kept me awake in the dark, with the mosquito net enshrouding my bed, a towering white testament to the strange land I found myself in.
The sky was so blue, the foliage so large and the earth so red, the plants, animals and people so intensely warm and bright. The sea was a clear blue, overflowing with life. I remember riding in a glass-bottomed boat, seeing the sea creatures teeming beneath us. The colors extended from the far-off horizon, charging deeply through the water, piercing the sandy bottom beneath me and splitting open my heart. During the day the colors seeped into my brain, dripping down through my belly, ending up as a rainbow in my toes. I felt a longing borne from my parched soul, a need to soothe myself with the wetness of life and the wondrous palette of varying hues.
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