Sun | Aug 19, 2018

Kingston from Hollywell

Published:Sunday | August 14, 2016 | 12:00 AMPaul H. Williams
A hazy view of the Mona Dam from Hollywell, St Andrew.
Panoramic view of Kingston from Hollywell, St Andrew.
Mountain-top residences across the valley from Hollywell.
A gazebo in the Hollywell Recreational Park in St Andrew.
Rain clouds descending upon Hollywell, St Andrew.

Moisture-laden cool breezes circulate the refreshing scent of pine. Inhale.

Birds chirp, and flowers bloom. Trees bear strange fruits. Skies are blue, candyfloss clouds white. The greenery is invigorating, and nature is bounteous.

Old man's beards are pasted everywhere, left by Father Time in a rarefied space where the young and the young-at-heart frolic and laugh. Their mirth flows on the wind, spreading the story of how sweet life can be, before the bitterness, the balance, seeps in.

On this mound upon mounds life does not unfold. It stands still. Marinating and soaking. There is no holly, and not a well in sight, but welcome to Hollywell.

To the north, the endless hills rise against the skies, side by side, like eternal sentinels dressed in green. Guarding what? What secrets lie embedded beneath in ancient vaults of earth and rocks?

To the south, way, way down, and out, far across a valley, a city reveals itself. The juxtaposition is stark. The concrete jungle sweltering below the airy forests of weeds, shrubs, thickets, vines, roots, leaves, twigs, branches, trees.

Sin City, in all its diversity, is ever changing its amorphous face. This moment it's hazy, then bright, sparkling, eerie, blurry. Suddenly, from all around, fogs and clouds descend, moving slowly, casting funereal shades of grey, shrouding the view, deliberately and silently.

The trees murmur a dirge. Kingston is dead, gone. And then Kingston reappears. On a clear day you can see forever, see Port Royal, a story of resilience, and the cays beyond.

Mona dam. The lifeblood. Looks clean from afar.

And you look at Kingston, and you want to cry, weep, weep, rivers of tears cascading down mountainside to cleanse, to bathe, to soothe the pain, to wash away the sorrow, the hatred and the guile.

But the joy of being in Hollywell obliterated your fears, and you jump from your reverie of ache, and you dance, dance around the bushes, and sing, your voice of redemption rising above the wind, and you sing, sing, sing, your cadence echoing from the hills, triumphantly.

What a catharsis! What a bliss! And then comes the rain, in sheets, in torrents, and Kingston is gone again. Maybe not for long. But it's gone again.