A day at the farm with Ophelia
This exhibition is the second chapter of my four year journey with Ophelia that began four years ago with the ‘crabbing day’ and continues with this ‘day at the farm’.
“I‘ll take you to my farm. It is time to go because of the tide.”I wasn’t too sure what the tide had to do with her farm, but I got excited. I didn’t need more encouragement to go on one of Ophelia’s outings.
After a short drive, which is usually a long walk for Ophelia, we got to the very end of Long Island’s only road. In front of me was a beautiful bay enclosed by a few hills. The friendly mangroves at the bottom help Ophelia hide her 8-foot vessel at night.
We start to go across the bay, in shallow waters, pushing off the seabed on her long oar. I cannot stop thinking that she looks like a pirate. Her red scarf and red blouse, which sometimes appear to be pink under the effects of the light, create an amazing contrast of colours among the green mangroves. When I propose my help, with the hard work, she declines laughing, probably thinking it would be too much risk to have me taking any part of it, and that we would never reach. “You sit here!”
After fifteen minutes we arrive in front of a beautiful beach dressed with a few more hills. The white limestone cliffs guard the entrance of the bay to the ocean, where she used to go out to set her fish pots. At that moment I feel like Christopher Columbus discovering a beautiful unknown territory. That pride went away very quickly when I nearly went headfirst stepping out of the ‘Santa Maria’.
A vast number of corn found home on the hills. The sweet potatoes field settles at the bottom. It stretches all the way to the beach where a ‘disorganized fence’ of pigeon peas seems to protect it from the wind. Coconut palms, papaya trees, little hot pepper bushes stand arbitrarily all over the place; all planted by four hands. Her dear husband, Urban, when alive was a big part of the farm. I am sure that his soul is here helping her.
After a few hours of cleaning, working and picking up some all natural ‘organic’ produce for dinner, the changing tide says we have to leave. Ophelia battles one more time with her rock anchor, before to sailing back to ‘Europe’.
Having had the privilege to witness what used to be a part of Bahamian life, for past generations, I wanted to immortalize it, leaving some kind of trace behind on paper.
This show is the story of that day depicting those little moments, emotions and thoughts.