Category Archives: St. John

Kafka’s Secret

Thanks for the comments and likes! Maho Bay Camp had a tremendous following of people who loved to stay there and a special group who chose to live there!  I came across an excerpt from a book that I wanted to share, especially in light of the fact that we are watching the dismantling of the tent-cabins that have come to symbolize our time on St. John and the amazing memories we all have made while visiting.  I have one more upcoming post on the current status of the tents, buy for the most part I plan to use this space as a place to remember what was so special about Maho Bay Camp and the times that were spent there.

Franz Kafka, the story goes, encountered a little girl in the park where he went walking daily. She was crying. She had lost her doll and was desolate.  Kafka offered to help her look for the doll and arranged to meet her the next day at the same spot. Unable to find the doll he composed a letter from the doll and read it to her when they met.

“Please do not mourn me, I have gone on a trip to see the world. I will write you of my adventures.” This was the beginning of many letters. When he and the little girl met, he read her from these carefully composed letters the imagined adventures of the beloved doll. The little girl was comforted.

When the meetings came to an end Kafka presented her with a doll. She obviously looked different from the original doll. An attached letter explained: “my travels have changed me… “

Many years later, the now grown girl found a letter stuffed into an unnoticed crevice in the cherished replacement doll. In summary it said: “everything that you love, you will eventually lose, but in the end, love will return in a different form.”

             May Benatar, Kafka and the Doll: The Pervasiveness of Loss

I spotted this island bird on the beach near the ferry dock in Cruz Bay watching the sunset!
I spotted this island bird on the beach near the ferry dock in Cruz Bay watching the sunset!

Blue Water View of St. John

Honeymon_background image

A Smooth Sea never made a Skillful Sailor.

My first visit to Maho Bay Camp in 1995 was also my first visit to St. John. My family and I arrived a few months after Hurricane Marilyn had struck the island. We spent weeks before our arrival checking in to see if we should still come. Maho Bay Camp was repairing its property and the rest of the island had suffered a devastating blow as well. In the end, it turned out to be an incredible time for a first visit. All the beaches on St. John were open and pristine! Everywhere I looked I saw nothing but white sand, turquoise water and lush green vegetation covering the hillsides. Arriving at yet another picturesque beach, I noticed the lack of people and wondered, “Where is everyone?”  I do recall saying many times, “This place is like an undiscovered Paradise!!”, “I love it here!”  How lucky we were to have Maho Bay Camp open so quickly after the hurricane, because on my next visit to the island I realized it had been deserted because none of the other resorts on island were able to open up due to the need for expensive repairs, getting supplies and on a contractors schedule. Nowadays, the summertime is busier than my first visit in Christmas 1995.

Maho Bay Camp was open for business and everything on the property was lush, green, tropical and newly repaired!  That week we drove all over the island, taking photos, snorkeling and sunbathing. The views of the turquoise blue water like this view (above) at Honeymoon Bay are what bring me back to this island. Every time I look at that crystal blue I feel refreshed.

Although, not to pop your island fantasy bubble, it doesn’t mean everything on that visit was perfect. Besides a near cancellation due to a hurricane, I was unable to avoid my first and most severe migraine headache, which put me in bed for 48 hours. Which made any battles with mosquitoes or cold showers seem insignificant.  This has been a continuing theme to my visits to St. John and on my most recent stay I “mashed up” my big toe. Despite these inconveniences, the beauty of the island and the people who live here captured my heart.