The night’s symphony was a welcome reprieve from the grating cacophony of the crowded yard. Alcohol flowed ceaselessly and the unmistakable scent of cannabis pervaded the atmosphere, both powerful catalysts for the diminishing inhibitions of those gathered.
The pulsating beat of the Trinidadian soca music which at any other time would catapult me into a wining (gyrating on someone in a sensual manner) frenzy now sounded dull and jarring. This weekend, one of many ‘limes’ (get together with friends/family) with my circle of friends was usually a welcome diversion from the monotony of an eight to four job in the capital city. Instead of jumping wholeheartedly into the wild abandonment of our lime, I felt a disconnect which fueled an urge within me to escape. Even though the yard was overflowing with tipsy beauties demonstrating their wining skills to the groovy soca music, disinterest overwhelmed me.
Our location for this extended weekend lime was the secluded and largely untouched rural community of Toco. It is nestled in densely forested north coast of the island of Trinidad. Toco seems to have been securely tucked away in the bosom of Mother Nature, a perfect example of her blessing to us.
Undeterred in my goal to seek escape, I walked to the back of the rental property which straddled the beach and forest which loomed behind. As intimidated as I was to walk into the darkened forest, the velvet darkness beckoned me closer. My mind eased with each step I took further into the forest with nothing but trickles of moonlight and my iPhone as my only sources of illumination.
I walked through the lush foliage, feeling the squelch of the the fertile forest floor beneath my slippers as I ventured on some undefined path. The soothing tongue of the humid air lapped languidly at my sun scorched skin like a healing balm until soon I became drenched in nature’s essence. Finally, the tension in my body yielded to nature’s comforting embrace.
The faint sound of running water added a pleasant dimension to the night’s melody. Of their own accord, my feet travelled closer to the source of the new sound, only to be led to the most stunning natural vista. A serenity pool fringed in textured foliage which seemed to stand guard to the magnificence of the opalescent water as it captured the delicate moonlight filtering through the dense canopy.
The serenity pool was fed by a torrent of water from a wide stream which gradually narrowed as it cascaded into a triple-tiered waterfall. The frothy, pounding entry of the water into the pool gave way to gentle ripples kissing the land within which it was embraced.
As I stood in awe of the majesty of the site before me, the rustle of leaves to my immediate left shook me out of my trance.
Adrenaline surged with the sudden fear of the unknown slinking in the darkness, looking for prey. I turned in the direction of the noise while fumbling with my phone’s flashlight setting. As the beam of light hit the location where the sound emanated, the space seemed untouched. I started consoling myself into thinking it was a trick being played by my subconscious which was bolstered by the alcohol I fed into my system earlier.
My persuasion was almost taking hold until I peered closer to the floor where there lay what appeared to be a braided wreath of flowers. The intoxicating scent wafted through the air but it was when I scooped the delicate flower tiara into my palms that I realized the intricacy of the braid. The selection of night blooming flowers released a seductive and lingering scent which only seemed to become more intoxicating with each whiff.
Where could this have come from?
How did it end up among the fringed sentinels of the serenity pool??
Was there someone else shrouded in the darkness???