This is a more personal post born out of our trip to Saipan for the wedding of our son Nathan and Isa our new daughter (who was born and raised in Saipan!) The poem below may only be for me to capture the experiences of culture, history, beauty, and family. But hopefully it can speak to you as well. The picture here relates to the poem.
Saipan is the largest of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). The native people group and language is Chamorro. The culture is wonderfully hospitable and family oriented. The island was occupied by the Spanish, Germans, Japanese, and is now a U.S. Commonwealth. A decisive and terrible battle was fought here in World War II with American forces defeating the entrenched Japanese army. The Island of Tinian, 3 miles away, was the place from which the Enola Gay took flight to drop the first atomic bombs.
Three large military cargo ships are stationed near Saipan, just off-shore and have become a ‘permanent’ part of the landscape visible from the main beaches. They were part of the lasting impression that became a metaphor of sorts. Here’s the poem that has helped capture my experience.
Already, but Not Yet
(Saipan ~ Summer 2013)
Another taste of Pacific paradise:
Sunset addictions satiated;
Encore after encore…
“Just wait – there’s more!”
Cultural senses brimming;
History to learn, and learn from.
New daughter, new village;
My familial cup overflows.
And these giant ships offshore?
Keepers and Intruders of the Peace.
dubs the Chamorro Elder!
Yet each evening’s masterpiece
Melts them into strange beauty.
Outdated specks on the canvas
of New Creation – coming.