jungles of the tropics

copyrighted photos by Sarah K Grundy 2011

People, places and things, leave a residue.

The hills and mountains of Jamaica never left me, long after I left, Harlem and Africa remain, even leave a stain.

Tropical Florida is surprisingly similar to many places we consider third world, exotic and tropical. Deep dark penetrating sunsets that melt in your mouth through the forever ascending palm trees over the pink thick dense skies through miles of jungle. The warm air. The heat. The lights in the sky similar to the Northern Lights.

The liberation of the water and empty sandy beaches. Sting Rays, Jelly Fish the size of your head, sharks, dolphins. Bikini's. Surf boards and boogie boards, skim boards. Hemp mats you can lay on all day listening to the waves rush in and out while seagulls peck at your toes and starfish tangle in your dreadlocks, weaving past Pelicans dinner menus.

Sunrise, and birds of origins you can't imagine, calling you to the day, noises at night that make you thankful you're indoors. Wildlife you can't identify around every corner, much of which could safe your life, or end it.

Innocence and Ignorance reminiscent of war torn borders of Cambodia, Ethiopia and other extremes-like Chechnya, Argenina- places that seemingly will never change without those courageous enough to risk their lives provoking it- risking death due to the tolerance for pain within the people or possibly a devotion to religion, same difference. Birds flocking to and fro from a bush for the entire day thousands of them, and you can't understand why they are there or if maybe they are bats(wondering if the myth about bats in your hair is true as you pass by on your way to the library.) The peace and quiet lurking mysteriously and manipulatively.

Everyone knowing your name whether they like you or not.

The kids roaming freely through the yard yelling, "Keeta, Keeta, Keeta" with sticks larger than them resembling bamboo which fell from the palm trees yet the fact remains, distant waters don't quench the immediate thirst. So off I go. Homeward Bound.

I will not miss brown recluse spider bites you have to extract the venom from and be ill for days over, racist third graders, failing schools with the intellect of a siv and the racial knowledge of a third grader who's parents fly the confederate flag on their pick up trucks. Farewell to this jungle, I'm sure you will follow me when I go.

Look for a story with the Civil Rights organizations & handling of race issues in Englewood, FL schools.