I was privileged to have the opportunity last weekend to visit that green isle of the Indies, Jamaica strong and free. I am always amazed at the beauty of the land and its people. They say it is not until you leave a place or lose someone that you really appreciate them, but for those of us who spend our time elsewhere the act of reconnecting is energizing.
This year I was not able to take a week and join in the various enticing events planned by the organizing committee of the CC past students association in Jamaica, and so I missed out on the memory triggering and spiritually uplifting visit to Salem church. Looking at the photos I pretended I was there, and felt my father’s spirit giving his quiet blessing. The brunch at Stuart Hall I could also imagine, the food looked good, and the sight of old friends gathering and reminiscing was priceless.
I missed the fun day at the farm, heard all about it though! Food, friends and laughter! I was very sorry not to have been part of the work day that helped to refresh and brighten some of the buildings of our old school. There is nothing like leaving a visible reminder that we care. It serves to demonstrate to the current generation of students that we need to own our environment; take pride in it and protect the legacy that we pass down.
Last Thursday the group celebrated the rich cultural heritage of Jamaica by attending a play. I heard excellent reports of that activity also. And of course one group who shall be nameless went on to dance the night away at Waterfalls afterwards. You go on, young people, enjoy yourselves! It’s later than you think!
But I was blessed to partake of the Friday event, a trip to Somerset Falls in Portland. I hear the bus ride was a special part of that treat, but I cannot complain about missing it. I was with a hardy group of adventurers who took the route over Hardwar Gap, through the challenging but breathtaking bends and curves that drive up through the heart of the Blue Mountains, then down the other side. It was slow going, which permitted us plenty of photo opportunities. Mountains all around, a cool fresh breeze blowing in through the windows, flowers of every colour and class, trees that had stood guard for how many centuries. We drove through Cascade district and were unsure whether the name came from the water tumbling down the hillside, or the rocks that escaped the mountainside and tried to roll down to the sea!
But Somerset Falls was a treat. I have been recommending it to anyone who would listen to me. Entering that cave by boat was like returning to the womb of mother earth. The tall walls wrapped around us. There was a peep of sky above where the water rushed in and over us; giving a back massage to die for. Sitting in the boat we could look back out through the birth canal. We heard the thunderous sound of the water smoothing away every rough edge of the rocks and every stress from our soul. It was a religious experience.
Saturday night was of course marvelous, that chance to let the years roll away as we found ourselves among family, sharing memories and making new ones. Once more I would implore you to make plans now. If you haven’t been before, five years from now make sure you join the festivities in Jamaica when Clarendon College will celebrate 75 years of Rev. Lester Davy’s vision, and a candle that will never go out.
I am very blessed to find myself a part of this family, and even more blessed that my actual family was relocated to that most beautiful island Jamaica. I hope you get a chance to revisit it soon, to soak in the vibes, appreciate the sights, smells and sounds, and say out loud, boy, Jamaica pretty eh?
One Love, Family! Have a great weekend, and I look forward to celebrating another get-together with the CC family, on Saturday September 1, at the Bahia Mar Fort Lauderdale Beach Hotel.