When I see the wall from the airplane, I know there is something my husband has neglected to tell me. Our daughter is five, a year younger than our marriage, and she reaches over me to look out the window. From above, the wall looks like sea-foam ringing the shoreline, casting long shadows on the sand. The wall is set high on the beach amidst dry grasses. There are no tall resorts or hotels on the island, no bright beach towels or discarded plastic toys. The sand is white and vast and empty.
My husband explains that two hundred years ago, a hurricane ravaged the island and left the islanders terrified of water. They built a wall surrounding the entire island to deny the water, to comfort themselves.
Why don’t they leave? I ask.
They know how to adapt, my husband says. Think about your parents staying put despite tornados.
Before he met me, my husband tried to kill himself twice, once as a child and once again as a young man. I am the only person who knows this secret. We are moving to this island because my husband wants to learn about limits. He… Read more »