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The International Writers Magazine: St Maarten

Moonlight ride in St. Maarten
Cheryl Gregory
Where was my Cowboy when I needed him?



There I was on a beautiful Caribbean island.  It was after sunset, and I was sitting on a log on a beach, a big bonfire crackling and blazing (as was my neglected marshmallow), sipping champagne.  How romantic was that?


The waves rolling in formed the background music.  The stars, oh, the stars; billions of them on that clear night, from horizon to as far as the eye could see.  The only thing that prevented a 180 degree view was Mount Vernon that rose darkly into the jam-packed diamond-studded sky.  The moon was full and brighter than I have ever seen in my life.  I was so huge, it felt close.  I thought I might be able to touch it.


I began my ride from a stable that was tucked away in a busy part of town.  It seemed an unlikely place to find a stable.  The owners and employees were very friendly and accommodating; everything looked well-maintained and the horses were good.


It was just around sunset when the guide and I left the stable to head out for the evening journey.  As we trekked further from the light pollution of the city area, it grew very dark, very fast.


As we walked our horses through the hills, leaving behind the lights and sounds of the city, I heightened my awareness of my other senses.  There was a field that we passed through where we heard the thundering hooves and whinnying of wild horses as they played in the open field.  It sounded like so much fun.  As they called to one another; I bet they were saying, ‘you’re it’, as they played tag.


Other delights for the ears was the sound of the water as it entered the Bay and crashed on the beach.  The moon was our only source of light and its wide, undulating streak of silver played on the water in a very hypnotic way.  I stared at it and lost track of time.  I became more aware of the fresh air I was breathing.  I felt relaxed.


The guide drew my attention to a particular treat, blooming cacti.  I had never seen them before, nor heard of them.  These plants are the typical green cacti during the day, but after sunset, once it gets dark, the most beautiful, large white blooms open up on the plant.  We were able to see them clearly using flashlights; they were gorgeous.  By morning, they would be closed again, but I felt as if I was sharing their little ‘secret’ that night.


If I had to choose just one thing from that night as the best memory, I would be challenged to pick just one.


It was the whole enchilada - the waves, the flowering cacti, the wild horses racing around us, the bonfire and marshmallows on the beach and moon and stars - everything.


Every time I sip champagne I am reminded of this experience and I disappear for my few moments of Heaven.  If there WAS one thing missing, it would be my Cowboy beside me, by the fire, even with the blazing marshmallows.


© Cheryl Gregory Jan 2010

Cherylgregorybiz at

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