Monday, January 08, 2007

Weeping For The Willows


So, as I was driving along the coast of South Sound the other day, I was at a loss as to why the usual jaunt along what was one of the most beautiful pieces of coastal scenery on Grand Cayman did not provide me with my usual sense of peace and tranquility. As I snapped out of my revere, turned down my tunes and pulled over to the side of the road, I realized that South Sound as I once knew and loved was no more, and once again, the rabid environmentalist dwelling deep within the recesses of my heart let out an undignified roar for the loss of what was. (Well, sorta, though this sounds more dramatic).

My heart bleeds for the South Sound of old, fraught with the elegant statuesque weeping willows that engulfed the road and invariably hid the skyline from a pedestrian’s view, assisting with the receipt of cool onshore winds, as the needles of the willows made their eerie music whilst swaying in the wind. The flora and fauna of South Sound were abundant and raw, and I can always remember my brothers and I trudging through the boggy surf to go fishing and to get up to all kinds of childhood mischief. I can’t remember when this all changed.

As a child, I can remember driving through South Sound with my Granddad, knowing that he would mischievously turn off the car lights as we were engulfed in total darkness, unable to see our hands in front of our faces. I would squeal in abject terror and plead with him to turn the lights back on. Two minutes later, I would beg him to do it again. This was our game, and regardless of our destination, my Granddad would always make it a point to drive through South Sound, even if he had to go miles out of the way. I can’t remember when this all changed.

As a child, I can remember competing in road races that traversed through South Sound, running barefoot in the early mornings, at one with the winding road, counting trees as a distraction, hearing the wallowing surf breaking through the trees yet unable to see the beach from the road. I can’t remember when this all changed.

Today, I stare in resignation at the bulldozers that are lined up to further render the flora and fauna of South Sound, all in the name of progress and development. The South Sound as I knew it no longer exists. The weeping willows are gone, replaced by towering mansions competing for dominance along the coast, landscaped with imported palm trees strategically placed as a part of the ‘natural’ landscaping .

Today, property values along South Sound are sky high, and Mother Nature in her infinite wisdom, will further continue the developers’ work. The beach has receded after the passage of each tropical storm, and Hurricane Ivan has made it almost non-existent. Advantageous fishing spots are difficult to find without trespassing on private property, most of which are cordoned off by intricate fencing, keeping out the nappy haired people that look like me. Trees and shrubbery are almost non-existent, as the last of the weeping willows hang on pathetically in their solitude, with their roots stretching into the sea. Running through South Sound in the afternoons is a heat stroke induced nightmare, as the lack of any form of foliage provides no protection from the harsh rays of the sun, and the on-shore winds from the rolling surf offer no consolation from the vicious heat of the sun.

I weep for what once was.

On that note, I shall now exit.

'Ta.
Ginger





14 comments:

Stunner said...

That's just terrible! It seems man is tearing down every inch of natural beauty for development, and money. Even in Jamaica they are threatening the Cockpit country, home to so many wild life to explore for bauxite! Dem need to "leave the trees and let them live."

Mad Bull said...

True words! I know how you feel.

Leon said...

Mother Nature once again take s a backseat to capitalism.

gela said...

Beautiful!

No, no, not refering to the demolition of your source of peace, tranquillity and wonderful memories. Talking 'bout the writing. Sorry, got distracted by it.

It's just that I could almost feel, see what you described.

Really beautiful.

Some o' you bloggers really write well I tell you.

Dr. D. said...

I guess its even more noticeable in Cayman which is already small Afro. But like Stunner said, Ja is by no means exempted. All over the world, natural beauty is being replaced by concrete jungle.

Unfortunately, mankind has really not learned to co-exist with Mother Earth.....we are slowly destroying the place that we call home!

Abeni said...

Yes,that's the price of development. Good thing you can keep your memories in your heart.

scratchie said...

We have paid quite a price here too. I guess you have to weight the needs of the country against the environment. I wish we didn't have to choose and even though we do then at least let it be carefully planned. I think we as a Caribbean need to define the word planning because we obviously don't know what it means. As a result we are basically killing ourselves slowly but surely.

Guyana-Gyal said...

How come the developers get away with this? It makes me so angry.

But I was reading in a newspaper my brother brought for me from England, the folks in one small town got together to NOT ALLOW a big chain supermarket to be built. He said folks get together to fight for things they believe in, there.

Gooders Girl said...

bwoy....mama say "Revelation a reveal --God soon come fi 'im earth"

Ri said...

Agreed. The whole island is developing way too fast.

Trouble said...

Oh, go hug a tree ya dyamm hippie, yu jus jealous 'cause ya cyan afford one a dem big house on the beach...

Shotta M said...

Sorry to hear - the environment has long been undervalued especially in the developing world. I hope the New Year will bring you some positive vibes to counter that.

Mighty Afroditee said...

@ Trouble: Damn Spammer!!
@Shotta M: Welcome back ; )

Torrance Stephens bka All-Mi-T said...

what will be left 20 years from now? my son says there wont be any trees or deer where we live