The Action is in the Bananas

Last April, Palmetto's foreman Don Carlos unexpectedly appeared at our doorstep with almond-wood artist Alfred Connor James. To our surprise, Don Carlos had told Alfred that our new home needed some island art and brought him to us. Alfred carried a totem-like sculpture for us to consider purchasing, which we did.

Alfred explained the sculpture's story: The bird at the bottom is chasing the dog in the middle chasing the iguana at the top chasing the monkey on side, all after the fruit. "The action is in the bananas," Alfred explained, "it's always in the bananas."

Our gardener Senor Gomez built a base for the sculpture by pouring concrete into a bucket, bolted it together, and installed it in our garden. Since April, the garden has blossomed beautifully as if indeed, it needed art in its midst to flourish.

Our garden is also home to lots of banana trees, most of which Mike has planted. Like Alfred's sculpture, these bananas see a lot of action. We anxiously await each bunch to ripen before we are able to chop it down, and often they require propping up and tying because they get so heavy. The last few weeks we've been waiting on one particularly lovely bunch but alas, we were not the ones to win the chase for this fruit. Someone macheted it before we had a chance to.

Now it's hard not to be angry when someone steals your bananas, but I remind myself that living on an island does make everyone think that picking fruit as they pass by it is one of the best shortcuts to a good dinner. Even Hayden and Delaney have adopted this habit: they now recognize guava trees wherever we go and impatiently wait for us to pick them each a guava-to-go. They eat them like apples.

We have since come to recognize Alfred-the-Almond-Wood-Artist's work in other places. A number of his pieces adorn the Palmetto restaurant, for instance. Delaney likes to ride one of his giant sea turtles that sit by the resort pool.

"Take me away," I imagine her thinking. "We have some banana-chasing to do."