My brother-in-law, Simon Morris, is a sculptor, which is why we are in the Caribbean this week. We traveled to the Cayman Islands – to the largest of three islands, Grand Cayman – to see the installation of Simon’s third bronze sculpture. In the twists and turns of life’s adventure, the paperwork for the sculpture was not complete so the sculpture, Guardian of the Reef, will need to wait just a bit longer to settle into its new home just off the shore of Grand Cayman. To see this majestic sculpture and many of Simon’s other unusual pieces, go to http://www.sculptorsimonmorris.com.
Simon has two other pieces on Grand Cayman so we decided to visit them. We first went to the capital city of Georgetown, where we saw Tradition, a commemorative sculpture honoring the maritime history of these islands and their seafaring people. It features a mariner father and son looking out to sea over the wheel of a ship. It is located in Heroes Square in the middle of town, along with other sculptures.
When we arrived, we found preparations for an event were underway. Turns out the following day was National Heroes Day – a big celebration with the premier and governor in attendance. We ran into one of the organizers of the event, and when he found out that Simon was the sculptor of Tradition, he begged us all to attend. So off we went the next day to watch the celebrations, including marching honor guards, cadets, military and police in dress uniform. Some pics are posted here. Much pageantry, color and speechifying! Many people were honored with recognition for various types of heroism, including cultural leadership, which is so important to this tiny nation.
Later that day our group went snorkeling and diving to visit Simon’s other sculpture – a nine-foot mermaid sunk in 50 feet of water off the shores of Sunset House, one of the dive resorts on Grand Cayman. Hubby and I snorkeled, while Simon and his sister and brother-in-law dove. It was amazing to snorkel out and look down to see Amphitrite below, reaching up so gracefully. Simon slowly descended to her, then swam around her, touching her face and arms as if greeting an old friend. I realized that he leaves a part of his spirit in each piece he creates. A treasured moment.
The water was beautifully clear. When returning to shore, we saw varieties of fish, some squid and coral of different stripes. The colors were striking – blues, greens, every shade of brown, beige and cream in every imaginable pattern – my favorites were dots, spots and squares. The water is warmer than Hawaii and at least as interesting – probably more fish here. I reflected back on my previous time in Cayman – 35 years ago – and remembered many more fish and more vibrant color. But still, the snorkeling is superb and we are relaxing more as each day goes by.