It is not unusual for the mind to play tricks on us, sometimes taking us to places we would rather not go, at other times transporting us through experiences from which we would rather not wake.
Therefore, we will understand if the people of Boscobel, St Peter are feeling like citizens of Whoville at the dawn of Christmas.
For, having feared the Grinch – the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) – was about to steal their Christmas for a second straight year by leaving them with dry taps again, something magical is happening on this Christmas Eve.
Somehow, the BWA has found a means to grant Boscobel its wish of running water during the holidays.
As is being reported in our news pages today, the state agency has installed a bigger pump at Alleynedale and is also reporting a drop in the salinity levels in that area.
This should come as a relief to the residents who had made it clear they simply could not afford to have Christmas lunch away from home again.
“Every Christmas for the last three years we had no water; can’t clean, can’t cook, can’t do anything. This has been going on too long. Every Christmas you can’t even get a proper meal. This is outrageous,” a furious Collene Badal told Barbados TODAY last week.
One week later, with Christmas just days away, an upset Shaney Forde was moved to complain to Barbados TODAY via an email.
“This is a repeat of last year and no baking, no smell of fresh laundry, no preparation is being done because of this [water outage]. [It is] simply ridiculous and shaping up to be a folly, folly Christmas.”
Maybe, like the Grinch, the BWA has come to realize that Christmas does mean a lot to Barbadians; maybe its heart suddenly grew three sizes. Whatever it is, it would appear miracles do happen at this time of year, after all.
We will forgive the people of Boscobel if they deviate a little from the Whoville of old and refuse to invite the BWA to their feast. But then, it’s Christmas and the spirit of goodwill to all must prevail.
We also will not be surprised if every Barbadian sees himself or herself as a resident of Whoville on Christmas eve –– warm-hearted but not entirely merry.
Unlike Dr Seuss’ story, they know the Grinch that is as the Freundel Stuart administration, with its heart two sizes too small, resides at its own Mount Crumpit, high above them.
Barbadians worry that the plethora of issues, including the now infamous sewage mess, the unending water problems, rising crime, unemployment and underemployment and the general sense of malaise is tantamount to stealing their Christmas.
Already buried under the weight of taxes, they worry the Government Grinch will tax them some more – after all, Minister of Housing Denis Kellman said last week Barbadians are not overtaxed; they wonder whether there will be any ease from the many potholes – some say craters – that no longer punctuate our roads but, in so many cases, have become part of the roads; and they fear that Government simply does not work for them anymore.
And, through it all, like the occupant of Mount Crumpit, there is no coherent word of comfort from the island’s top political leader.
However, Barbadians are hearteningly hopeful and happily cling on to faith, and they have refused to allow anything or anyone, not least the Grinch, to steal their Christmas.
Therefore, amidst the wallowing and woe, they somehow sum up the fortitude to be joyous and festive at Christmas.
Even then, we are not certain they plan to invite the Grinch to their feasts for fear it will devour everything and leave them with nothing.
Of course, it would be a wonderful miracle if our Government would, at the very least, clear the path to a merry Christmas for the people of Barbados by outlining a workable plan to correct the mess and ease taxes.
It might be asking too much, but as we have seen in the case of the BWA and Boscobel, miracles do happen.