When you first arrive anywhere in Fiji, you are welcomed home. Truly it is how you are made to feel by a people whose smiles always go all the way up and pour forth from their eyes. And when you leave you are farewelled in ceremony and in song. The Fijian farewell song is Isa Lei and when it is sung to you requires no translation. It brought tears to my eyes and my hand to my heart, each time I heard it.
The night before we departed to cross the seas home we were presented with beautiful leis, tied gently around our necks like jewellery. The next morning we wore them to the dock and as we were sung on our way, we were told to throw our leis into the shimmering turquoise. Those that floated back to the island were signalling our return in years to come. Those that travelled with us tracked our path home.
Everything here is ceremony and ritual, simple and deeply felt. So much so that not one of us remembered to watch which direction the sea took our lei in. I have a feeling we will be back and no doubt that the flowers whispered the same to the sea.
Life is like this: sometimes sun, sometimes rain
~ Fijian proverb
Words and image © Kerrie Basha, 2017