Do you remember the twenty first night of September?
Love was changing the minds of pretenders
While chasing the clouds away
Our hearts were ringing
In the key that our souls were singing
As we danced in the night, remember
How the stars stole the night away
Ba de ya, say do you remember?
Ba de ya, dancing in September
Ba de ya, never was a cloudy day
My thoughts are with you…
~ Earth Wind and Fire, circa 1978 – how prognostic is the name of the group!
Would you remember September 2017?
Sadly, the of residents of Antigua and Barbuda, the BVI, the US Virgin Islands, St. Martin, Anguilla, Dominica, Turks and Caicos, Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, Cuba, the Southern Bahamas islands, Southern Florida and Mexico will not remember September 2017 in the above flirtatious manner, nor will we, who are or who have been emotionally affected by the two recent Cat 5 hurricanes and earthquakes which came so close together.
On September 6th, that siren, Irma, descended upon the islands of Barbuda, the BVI, the US Virgin Islands, St. Martin and Anguilla, basically without much advanced warning of her intention.
She was dancing up a storm in the Atlantic, from Cape Verde, but those of us who had our ears to the underground weather channel, kept our fingers crossed and appealed to Zeus, that she would keep dancing without a partner in the Atlantic until she fell with exhaustion like an Santeria priestess, possessed by the power of Shango; but the conditions were just right for Irma’s dancing to intensify; the conditions – warm waters.
Instead, Irma brought the party onshore and left a trail of destruction in her wake, especially in the BVI and Barbuda. There are no more dancehalls in Barbuda.
Nine days after Irma, entered Maria. Maria, envious of the powerful force of Irma, wanted to flex as well. She began whirling and swirling her skirt in the lesser Antilles, the winds brought about by her swirling hem, touched other islands and on that fateful night of September 18, she eyed, the independent Commonwealth of Dominica as her shebeen to wine.
Some stated that she came like a thief in the night.
Trees swayed to her rhythm, houses rocked to her beat, roofs flew as she rained a giddy tempo on the nature island. The unwitting partygoers cowered in fear, as she throbbed for more than 4 hours.
Maria continued her decadent behaviour farther northwest to Puerto Rico, Hispaniola and Cuba. She left Puerto Rico in the dark.
Some say that the intensity of current hurricanes are as a result of global warming, others say that every couple hundred years the earth purges itself and that we are now in that cathartic cycle, others say it is a biblical prophecy, over which we have no control.
Whatever your belief there is no denying that these two femme fatales, Irma and Maria brought with them a fury whereby the recovery from which, will be the most costly and lengthy in the region for a hurricane.
“To deny climate change is to procrastinate while the earth sinks; it is to deny a truth we have just lived. It is to mock thousands of my compatriots who in a few hours without a roof over their heads will watch the night descend on Dominica, in fear of sudden mudslides . . . and what the next hurricane may bring. My fellow-leaders, there is no more time for conversation. There is little time left for action. While the big countries talk, the small island nations suffer. We need action and we need it now.”
The Honourable Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minister of Dominica at the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly on September 23, 2017.
Photo credit: Roosevelt Skeritt
I end this blog post by calling my readers into action. There are many avenues to help with the rebuilding of the islands affected.
Most of the images used in this blog were taken from Facebook the posters who did not credit the original photographs.
5 Replies to “A September to Remember in the Caribbean”
September was without doubt a very tough month for many islands in the Caribbean, leaving many some tough months ahead in the recovery. Beyond the sadness of the topic, I have to say your writing is FABULOUS! I couldn’t stop reading.
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Thank you Koumba
Sho, thank you for this. My wife grew up largely in the Philippines and so the various islands have a special place in our hearts and the photos give a glimpse of just how devastating these storms were. Strength and love to all involved as the building process continues and may it be a time of community gathering in force as a demonstration to the rest of the world and their infighting…
love brett fish
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I love the way you write… Lucky for us in the Caribbean we are a strong and resilient people.
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