And so again this week, the community mourns the death of four. College students out for a hike, a celebration of youth and life, turned tragic as friends watched helpless and stunned.
An island is defined by the sea. Without the sea, it does not exist. Its beauty comes from the sea. Its life comes from the sea. And death, too, comes from the sea. The sea is a life-giver and a life-taker, and when you grow up by the sea, you respect it as such. You fear it as such. You know the names, woven through the tapestry of generations, of those gone into it, never to return.
Learn to swim, and you may have a savior. But learn to swim and you may also have confidence, and cockiness and hubris that will draw you away from the safety of land and air, and into the seductive liquid arms that will grip you and teach you who is master. Learning not to swim is a greater savior, many a local family will tell you.