The St. John ache

We sat at the corner of a beachside bar in St. John. We were spent from a day of hiking, swimming in Solomon Bay, and traveling for several days in the most beautiful place I’ve ever been. We chatted with the men who’d served us drinks, some locals who’d befriended us days earlier, and whatever other tourists sat down for a cold one. The rain, a product of a tropical wave that had been threatening for days, finally started to fall. It came in torrents and rode droplets on the wind to our seats. We toasted the downpour and agreed that even if it didn’t stop raining before we left, we would still smile. We’d fallen in love with a tiny island and reaffirmed that we loved each other more than we did ten years before when we married.

Without warning, my wife stood from her chair and walked onto the beach. She stood with her arms outstretched and her face to the sky. Tropical rain soaked her hair, drenched her clothes, and washed clean her soul. I’d not seen her at such peace in ages.

We’ve left St. John now. We’ve been gone for some 22 hours, and the ache to return has already started to pulse. I have a lot I’d like to write about the last week, but paid work comes first. As a guy at a joint called Skinny Legs said one afternoon, “I work my ass off all year so I can come here for one week.”

When you get to enjoy this sunset every night, it’s not hard to understand how a guy could develop that attitude really fast.

The view from our St. John balcony–the sun setting over St. Thomas

Brad Willis

Brad Willis is a writer based in Greenville, South Carolina. Willis spent a decade as an award-winning broadcast journalist. He has worked as a freelance writer, columnist, and professional blogger since 2005. He has also served as a commentator and guest on a wide variety of television, radio, and internet shows.

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3 Responses

  1. KenP says:

    Lovely story. Now to figure out why St. Vitus Dance comes to mind…

  2. Su says:

    Sigh……. Wish I was there.

  3. Lee Jones says:

    You’ve probably caused multiple couples to go running to their favorite online travel site to book a tropical getaway (one surfing the web while the other calls the grandparents for babysitting duty).

    As always, you’ve provided an invaluable service.

    Regards, Lee
    “Now flipping back to the Expedia tab”