I’m new to the island. It’s our third year so I’m detached from the memories of the past. I can only relate to the Montserrat of today. And today’s Montserrat is still beautiful.
Those who have lived here much longer have memories to share. They see Isles Bay Beach the way it used to be, a golf course lined with palm trees, and a small harbor filled with boats and people enjoying the beauty of this sacred place.
Today paints a different picture, one that is not so exciting, yet beautiful in its own right. The volcano has created this new picture, burying the golf course and extending the beach further out to sea. It is a new beach; a very long beach that seems to have defied the rocks that often emerge at Lyme Kiln and Woodlands. Its soft sand is perfect for long sunset walks and the only place I’ve found where I can run a mile. The water is usually calm and warm, safe for an afternoon swim.
Fisherman dot the landscape early mornings and sunset evenings. Pelicans put on a show as the sun goes down, the most beautiful place on island for viewing the colors of the evening sky. A blue heron waits for the few scraps a fisherman might share.
The palm trees that once lined the golf course remain standing lost to the purpose they once served. Here and there along the beach, a young coconut has planted its roots and is beginning to emerge. Cattails are abundant creating an area of wetlands to house new life, and those of us who live nearby build fires on the beach in an effort to enjoy what nature has to offer. I have visions of what this beautiful place may one day become again, a place of calm and beauty not seen anywhere else on island.
So imagine my surprise when my mid morning walk was interrupted by bull dozers and dump trucks taking away the black sand of the beach. Other beaches are calling for more sand to bury their abundance of rocks. Here we are hauling it away.
With so few beaches left on the island for recreation, I am hopeful that Long Beach will take its rightful place amongst the other beaches that are loved and nurtured. It is my desire to help this dream manifest by planting a few more palm trees to the ones already provided by Mother Nature. A small contribution I am aware, but one that I feel is better than doing nothing at all.