I miss the Crown Beach Resort on Rorotonga in the Cook Islands. I miss the staff that made me feel like I was home. I miss the owner, Judy and Rondo, who made me feel like members of their family. And I miss my room that was as tranquil as any I have ever had the good fortune to stay in. I miss the island itself really. The people seemed genuinely excited to share their island and their culture and their food, all of it, with anyone interested. I miss the fresh, raw tuna I ate every day of my week long stay there. I miss the Pacific Resort on Aitutaki. The lush, tropical surroundings. The amazing staff. The lavish villas. The still, shallow water. The snorkeling just a breath away from my private haven. I miss diving and snorkeling and walking through the streets of town. I miss the hot sun and the sticky air even. I miss racing up the mountain in an open air jeep and dining with the locals in their homes. I miss the starfruit. I miss the outlaying islands with nothing but white sands, rich flora, and the clearest, bluest water one could ever even dare to hope for. But more than anything, I miss the pace. The houses are small and the roads are few and the life is sweeter and slower and on days like today when the world seems to be having it’s way with me, I miss the spirit that fills the Cook Islands. I try to keep that peace tucked away in the back of my head for when I need it most. But I will surely need a refill. The Cook Islanders have got it all right. And I would suggest that anyone seek it out – and soon – lest the paradise that it is should ever one day be spoiled.
Jenny Block is the author of “Open: Love, Sex, and Life in an Open Marriage” (Seal Hardcover, June 2008 and Seal Paperback, March 2009), which has been nominated for a Lambda Literary Award. She writes a weekly column for the Dallas Morning News publication Quick called “Sex Talk with Jenny Block” (quickdfw.com). Jenny holds both her BA and her MA in English from Virginia Commonwealth University and taught college composition for nearly ten years. She writes for a wide variety of publications and websites, including huffingtonpost.com, yourtango.com, American Way, Veranda, the Dallas Morning News, the Dallas Voice, edgedallas.com, literarymama.com, Spirit, chow.com, and ellegirl.com.