Island Dreams is a beautifully written tale of discovery about self, friendship, chance, attitude and other cultures. From the minute you open the book, you’ll be swept along on an intimate tale that reveals the full meaning of discovery through travel. Enjoy the lessons the author learns as she travels New Zealand, Fiji and the Cook Islands. Accompany Pam as she explores quaint towns and villages, pristine beaches and breathtaking vistas above and below water, at times exploring alone, oftentimes in the company of endearing characters who team up with her along the way. You will experience your own “Island Dreams” while traversing through this enjoyable memoir/travelogue.
Pamela Morgan’s debut adventure memoir follows 30 years of writing legal pleadings and summaries. She considers herself a self-exploring writer, yogini, lifelong activist and earth worshiper. Pam is inspired by nature and its healing and reflective qualities. She published many short stories in the Goddess Circle Newsletter, for Sisters of the Sacred Circle of Santa Cruz. Her short story, “How to Love a Goddess,” was published in The Mystery of Woman, Soul Rock Books (2012), and her story “When Santa Cruz Was Young,” was published in Santa Cruz Weird, edited by Nancy Lynn Jarvis (2018). She resides in the Santa Cruz Redwoods with her spouse, a family of squirrels and birds, a passing Buck or Doe, and a stealthy mountain lion.
from Chapter 11 — Nananu-i-Ra Island (Fiji)
Nananu-i-Ra is a small 3.5 km triangular island with scalloped bays and amber sand beaches ideal for snorkeling and diving. The name of the island means “Daydream of the West” and as soon as I arrived, the image of tranquil rest and relaxation became a welcomed reality.
A refreshing breeze caressed my bare shoulders and outstretched arms as I sat swinging in a saggy hammock. Behind me, a luscious wall of jungle greenery contained my stark beach as I swung under the tall shade palms. I heard birds loudly shrieking throughout the jungle canopy. As I swayed, floating above the earth suspended in time, I was soothed by the gently lapping waters radiating warmth. Uninhibited freedom overwhelmed me as the sun dropped nonchalantly behind a flat horizon. Was it just my imagination? Or was I truly here – alone on a forgotten beach cradled in a hammock, peeking through the cotton mesh at my sand-flecked toes?
Then, like a spontaneous eruption from deep inside, a giddy and full-bodied laugh of joy bellowed . . . Haaaa Haaaaa Haaaa Heeeeeeeee! I felt the vastness of time and space, realizing I was similar to a small speck of sand on this tiny atoll scattered among the thousands in the vast Pacific. It was a huge leap of faith to recognize what I had created at this moment; No grand finale. No friends to high-five my success. Friends and family back home could never actually fathom where I was at this moment or how many miles, actually weeks, I had traveled to arrive at my new state of self-imposed emptiness! Alone in my quiet awareness, thoughts flashed between breaths of memories, giddy laughter and the perfection of NOW, where the soft breeze scratched the palms to and fro above my head.
My white-washed stucco cabin with glass-louvered windows sat just steps away from the turquoise sea. Knowing I had nowhere to go for the next week, I felt nothing less than complacent. In that dreamlike state, I was satisfied with my plan; with enough food and water to last me until the boat returned the following week. My strategy, if I had any at that point, was to spend my days leisurely combing the remote beach, snorkeling lovely coral gardens, writing and just emptying my mind of analysis. Suspended in the essence of life, enjoying what each moment offered. And IT was more than enough!
This was pure paradise on my scale of tropical experiences. Steps from my bungalow stretched the golden sand and warm turquoise waters. Snorkeling offered a brilliant array of fish: I came face-to-face with schools of brilliant Blue Tangs, a corny-looking Pufferfish and several good-sized Blueface Angels (with dynamic colors of deep blue scales, trimmed in bright chartreuse, creating an intricate glowing lattice affect; Angels also have a bright yellow dorsal fin, accented with a deep blue dot, and a yellowish mask covering their noses and mouths around a blue face).
When you’re swimming among these intricately designed fish, you know the creator had a vivid imagination or a great sense of humor. There were many schools of Zebra Dart fish and when I saw the large black and white Sergeant Majors, I shouted with such excitement that I accidently spit out my snorkel. The brilliant small blue Damsels with yellow bottoms were stunning and I was surprised by the size of a very curious Squaretail Coral Grouper.