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The Tunnel of Light

The story behind our banana bread latte.

There’s something about going home. For all of us, there is a road, a smell, a highway that slows our heart rate down a bit because we know we’re almost to a place of safety.

For me, it’s a a canopy for trees that form a long tunnel. There are days and moments when the sun peeps through the leaves and mangoes and flowers and makes beautiful glowing patterns on the ground. There’s a magic in it, like nature is trying to connect with me and I with it.

Growing up, I remember walking through my village, Bay Gardens, alone. From my house to the bus stop was a long, broken road, littered with houses and abandoned structures. But I lived for that tunnel of trees and flowers, waiting for it like you wait for air looking up from the bottom of a pool. I loved being there. I picked mangoes from off the ground, inspecting them for bugs before pocketing them for later. I dreamed up stories of adventure and placed them in the old, half-built stone structure below the road, the one that was almost fully enveloped by creeping vines. I looked up at the bamboo stalks and imagined the animals and inspects that were caught between those long, blanched stalks.

Bay Gardens was a magical place growing up, a tunnel of light that took me out to the world where I was trying desperately to do great things. And it was a tunnel that took me home, to the one place where I could be alone and recover from everything I’d done.

Bringing Phil to my village was another kind of homecoming.

Suddenly, Bay Gardens wasn’t just a place where I walked and lived and breathed. With Phil going there with me, Bay Gardens became an oasis, and abundance of love and safety. I’d brought home, home with me.

Phil is learning Bay Gardens the way I did as a child.

He knows the feel of the molding, dead leaves that line the road and the places that are safest to walk when a car drives by. He understands that nature is respected and we are just passers through. He pauses and admires beautiful leaves with me, taking photos to send back to his family.

Bay Gardens is where our souls can go to rest.

For many people, there’s a similar comfort in banana bread. Whether it’s a great grandmother’s recipe or the staple dessert at family gathers, banana bread reminds me of the feeling I get when I step foot on that mile-long stretch of road. When I drink this latte, I feel grounded and so will you.

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