Cay It has been may years since I; Phillip Enright was stranded on the tiny island, Devil’s Mouth with my beloved friend Timothy, and our one comfort, Stew Cat. Its been 50 years to be exact and in all 61 years of my life, nothing has impacted me more than that time spent on the cay. As I sit hear in the comfort of my beautiful home, relaxing in my easy chair feeling the warmth of the glowing fire I am remembering. Happy yet sad, but I’ll talk about that later. It’s not every day that I afford myself the luxury of really pondering the time spent with timothy years ago, but since my wife Jule is visiting our son, Timothy, his wife and our firts grandbaby (another Timothy! we call him Tim) I can sit back and reflect upon those days that impacted my life so greatly. I was a pretty spoiled kid, I realiz now. Loosing my sight and haveing to depend on Timothy was probaly the best thing that ever happend to me.
I know that my desire to become an artist and my passion for capturing everything on canvas still comes from that time. I now realize how prejudice I was about black people before all this. Being with Timothy as an eleven-year-old boy that went from wealth, security, and sight, to total dependence on a man of different race and culture. I found my-self loving the big comforting man because he cared so much for me. I quit thinking of him as black or whit, but as someone that loved and cared for me.
Then, I had an opportunity to think of someone other than my self when he go tsick, and have had that compassion for others ever since. Timothy taught me to feel with my hands; feet, sences, and everthing except my eyes. He taught me to appreciatethe subtke things of nature that we take for granted when we can see. I belive that is why I have found such acclaim in famous galleries across the world. The storm caught us off guard even though we had prepared so carefully.
I belive I have been “old beyond my years” since that storm. If only we didn’t listen to those little voices that tell us, we can’t do anything. We can do ANYTHING if we have to. The “huricans” I’ve experienced in my life as I’ve grown to be a man, have always been small copared to that hurrican at eleven years of age. Losing Old Timothy of Charlotte Amalie, and being alone on a forgotten cay were about as much as I could go through.
Thank the good Lord, Stew Cat found me, and we mad it through to gether. Now, back to the fire of yesteryear. Timothy had taught me to build a fire and the on I built after the hurrican was my “rescue fire”. It was when I heard the plane above me that I found my hope again. Even though that fire did not actually rescue me, ( that came by water a day or so later) the fire gave me the hope I had lost. that hope kept meovercome the sadness of losing Timothy. That hope helped me through the months in the hospital recovering.
It has given me hope to continue living life, facing each “hurricane” as it comes. Oh, I love to gaze at the flames and think of the “rescue fire” of life.