I saved this for last. For a moment when the stress of real life returned in full force so that I could go back to my photos and take a deep deep breath of beautiful St. Elizabeth in snapshot.
In the cool of the morning in St. Elizabeth my cousin Mac would take me down to the Lookout. We walked 20 minutes down and 40 minutes back up a red dirt road through the hills pregnant with crops taking pictures along the way.
We would pass the odd field, freshly ploughed and waiting for seed, smelling of bauxite (or what I would imagine bauxite to smell like) and the broken stems of plants.
The tomato fields are bedded with straw and on one of our walks we saw a man weeding, using his machete to slide under the straw and break up running roots of creeping weed. As they start to change colour the tomatoes are picked because once the ripening begins it is a quick run to red.
Mac and I climbed to the Lookout point around rocks and cactus flowers to see the breathtaking view of the coast of South St. Elizabeth.
From this perch the view is AMAZING! To the West is Treasure Beach.
Much of the coast is uninhabited and anyone who has survived a hurricane can well imagine why. The wind against the face of these mountains can destroy like no force of man.
To the East of the Lookout we are able to see Lover’s Leap. The place is named for two slaves who loved each other very much but whose masters intended to separate them. They jumped from the place marked with the lighthouse at the top of the mountain.
To the South we see the far fall or steep hike down to the Caribbean Sea.
On the way to and from the Lookout we would pass friendly neighbours and their animals. This little guy got my heart, bucking and bucking at his mom to let him near enough to get some milk.
And this dainty little one came pushing up toward me.
We would also pass papaya trees,
rows of corn,
There is always something small to snack on like the little tomatoes,
and Star Apples, sticky and sweet in their tropical richness,
and Strawberries. Who would have thought, right?
What comes to the table depends very much on the season. In another season it would be Ortaniques (a unique orange variety), Star Fruit, Mangoes of every variety, Naseberries, Sweet Sops, oh my goodness I could go on but not without getting very hungry.
At the end of a blissful morning with a long walk to get my blood flowing, fresh air to fill my lungs, the sight and smell of crops and animals to give me a sense of peace, I sit down to a lunch of traditional Jamaican food, fresh off the land and out of the pot.
I hope you’ve lived vicariously and enjoyed my time in St. Elizabeth with me. It won’t be long before I’m back there in another season with other fruits and learning new things.