Trelawney, is part of Cockpit Country, now I have stayed in Portland, Port Antonio to be exact, and loved it, so green, landscape lush and thick, but the beauty of Cockpit rivals it and is #3 on my list of magnificence and God loving beauty, #1 The Blue Mountains, #2 Portland, and of course the above Cockpit country.
As I said an invitation for a birthday party but an open invitation to stay as long as I wanted. We went to Martha Brae to river raft, to Duncan's Bay to Leroy's but mostly it was a time of getting to know my companions, sleeping in a likkle concrete room, where the sounds of life surrounding me was my music, 'our' friendly dog, who loved everyone and forgot that he was supposed to be a ferocious watch dog, tree frogs, the every now and then car passing. I spent a time of watching the grass grow, took delight in going to Falmouth to shop, learned to scale fish, because these are not the type of people to pay someone to do it. I sat every day on her veranda, fighting the mosquitoes, the lizards/geckos/ watching the children on their way to probably a swimming hole or I was told a lot of the locals swim in the Martha Brae. I watched and waited for the rain, and enjoyed every rainfall, her home is surrounded by a gully full of scary things (for me) and beauty, and food, oh the many food trees, and the many beautiful flowers and trees surrounding us. We were right at the foot of the mountains and since I had been told that people sometimes camp/hide out, knowing the story of the Maroons, I fantasized that possibly this had been one of the places they hid out, their safe haven. I pretended and made up stories of beautiful, runaway slaves finding a place to rest until time to go to the next stop of the Underground railroad. Of lovers using these woods and caves to escape the lashing if they were found out. I love sitting on mountains/hills, but being in the mountains, well maybe the hills, but sitting under the mountains is just as amazing. A spiritual as well as enlightening time for me. I put my books aside, rested, reasoned, ate, laughed and had a joyous time.
On the Saturday after I arrived me and another friend decided to take a walk to town,I am not much for walking but decided I will go as far as I can go, now for him this walk took only 30 minutes round trip, but with me walking and looking at every little thing that caught my fancy it probably took us 4 hours. Houses of every type modern brick, board houses, gingerbread houses, houses near the road and houses on hills and in gullies, really a place from story books. The houses and neightborhoods you pass on the way to other places, and never think to stop. As we got to the town center all eyes on us, 'Good morning, goodnight, hello, how you doing, whagwaan, from us as well as them, some stares with no greeting, didn't matter it was still a good vibe. I had been told about a house that was vacant, we inquired to the group at large and one sent a likkle boy for the owner, who came and took us on a tour, but alas, the one I would have taken was unavailable, rented a few days before, however there was a shared space still available, no thank you but thank you for your time. "So you are the folks from up the hill, when something else comes up I will come and the Ras lady know and she can contact you" small town good feelings and business dealings.
Now, for the return this old gray mare was not having at the walk back, so we sat on a stone bridge to wait for the next taxi, while sipping our cold drinks and hanging out, and watching the people on the way to the store and the way home from church, we greeted and were greeted by most. After a while this pretty likkle lady waltzed right up sat beside me and said hmm you're a big one, usually being called 'fatty', or 'fluffy' vexes me and I ignore the person, but not this time, she asked how was I enjoying my visit and how long I would be staying, because she planned to bring something up to the house later, how does she know where we are staying, small town, the drums beat. She bid us a fare the well and told me not to over do it, she told my friend to get me a ride back up the hill, because I might not make. She was right. The woman is 85 and her buddy is 92 and believe me they walked up and down that hill/mountain every day several times a day, amazing. BTW she bought up some chocolate leaves for tea for my friend, and gave me a few leave also, they made a tea with the leaves it was delicious.
Of my thrills in Jamaica, this was one of the best.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”