The Rubber Walk
Kaieteur News – I see trees as symbols of joy, hope, life; so with great disappointment and an even sadder heart that I read of the final decision to remove the century-old rubber trees at Mabaruma in the North West District, which is one of the most scenic parts of our country and blessed with it plenty of fruits and vegetables. For me, however, the so-called “Rubber Walk” is an essential part of its charm and beauty.
I first visited the North West District in the 1960s as the leader of a group of young people from the Roman Catholic youth group ‘The Green Light Organization’ in outreach to our group there. We traveled by steamer and after arriving at Morawhana, although we were tired of the long overnight journey, we decided in our youthful exuberance to walk to Mabaruma where we would stay. That’s when I saw the Rubber Walk for the first time. That straight road was an enchanting walk shaded by the gorgeous rubber trees planted equally spatially on both sides as vigilant sentinels they stood; firm, yet graceful in their foliage, witnesses to countless footprints, to shared words and laughter and perhaps to many, a tired dream shattering.
Those rubber trees were planted so long ago by hands that I certainly carefully nurtured them as saplings. Those who planted it may have watched with pride as they matured and grew into majestic beauty, providing shelter and bringing joy to the thousands who may have walked that walk over the long years they have existed.
Now soon, and I’m still praying this won’t be, the cruel efficiency of metal teeth will save them to death. The stumps and stubble leaves are removed. Their shadow is gone forever. Their beauty is only memory.