Home is ... My Memories of Jamaica

by Gillian Mullins, Nee Scott O'Connor
(Nanuet, NY, USA)

These are some memories of Jamaica taken from an unpublished essay I did for a competition when I was doing my degree in the '80's.

Home is ... sitting on the falls of the Bluefields River, eating stringy mangoes, the juice dribbling down my chin, and washing it off with the clear cold water, which feels so good in the hot humid Jamaican summer.

Home is ... roasting ears of corn on the old cast iron charcoal pot that the laundress uses to heat her flatirons on ... no electric irons here. Never mind if those ears of corn end up with a dusting of charcoal ashes, they seem to taste better that way.

Home is ... lying still on on my stomach on Sabito beach, watching the tiny crabs come out of their holes to skitter along the damp sand, and to feel the tickle of the Hitler bugs, as they run across my feet.

Home is ... the sound of singing tree frogs and the whistle of crickets.

    I vividly remember spending Christmas day at my aunts house in Mandeville.
    We forgot to close the living-room windows when we went into the dining-room to eat, and on our return, we were almost deafened by the singing of myriads of crickets that had taken the opportunity to visit.
    I remember the mad scramble we had to locate and oust all our unwelcome visitors so that we could continue our Christmas party in relative peace.

Home is ... my mother telling stories of herself and her siblings when they were growing up.

    A favourite was the story of my Uncle George, aged about 9 or 10.
    Not wanting to go back to boarding school, at Munro, he ran away from home, riding the 25 miles bareback on a horse to his uncles house at Grandvale, near Whitehouse.
    Once there however, he couldn't decide what to do.
    So he just sat and waited for his parents to arrive, which they did, directed by people they asked on the way, "Have you seen a little boy on a horse?"
    He was promptly whisked him off to school anyway, albeit late.
    What an anticlimax. No idea what happened to the horse!.

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