Life continually asks us to balance one thing against another; we are constantly playing an intricate game of give a little leeway here or there. And this is ever so true when it comes to romantic pairing and coupling. Caribbean author, Michael Anthony introduces this idea remarkably in his novel “Green Days by the River”. The novel tells of a boy on the edge of adult responsibilities. It is the story of Shellie, a Trinidadian boy who moves to a new village and there meets two girls. He is charmed by Rosalie but he is attracted to the more cheerful and accessible Joan.
And so meets our first leeway. Most of us appreciate convenience, the ability to do something with little or no difficulty. Is it a wise move though for relationships? Some of us deliberately and some unconsciously move toward, and work on, the convenient mate, one who will support or endorse behaviours, attitudes and lifestyles that we might actually benefit greatly from doing without. For some of us,we move forward hastily with the first person who declares a liking or love for us, even when we realize that the person might not be that well-suited to us. In these ways, and so many more ways, we create our “green days by the river.” On the surface the scenery looks ever so beautiful, the flowing river, the rich greenery but on closer inspection we realize it was all “force-ripe” and in time we realize it was more like a mirage that is created in the desert when we long to see that spring of refreshing water.
Another leeway comes from our socio-political environment, that environment that impacts us all. Our meetings and interaction with the person suggests great potential and we realize the great value as we begin to experience that incremental progressive growth and development that comes from pairing with someone who helps you to become your best. But then we do not exist in a vacuum. And so in opening up the relationship for introductions and integration into each other’s world, there is resistance and or out-right restrictions imposed because socially the economics, the schooling, the familial background, the skin tone and or ethnicity is not deemed compatible, or the politics are contradictory. And so, an about-turn is made and an easier pairing is formed, which at best provides a close resemblance to genuinely green days by the river.
Navigating our way through life and through our relationships, we are constantly faced with deciding on our “green days by the river.” Will we make the choice to do the tiring and laborious ground-work to create scenery reflective of real and natural progress in our relationships or will we settle for the knock-off look and be truly dwelling in a dry land?
For those who have not yet entered into the journey of Shellie, Rosalie and Joan, Michael Anthony’s Green Days by the River is a well-worth read with much in it to guide us all.
By Kerriann Toby