Growing up in the island, there lived two frail old ladies whom the school children used to call old witches. They were sisters who I later learned lived with their parents and never got married. Their house never had electricity nor running water, and all times of the day and night they would be looking out of their windows that were devoid of curtains.
These women started their day with climbing the hill to the Roman Catholic Cathedral for morning mass. They walked together clutching each other tightly never mingling with the neighbors. They had a gauntly-like appearance and the word fragile, unstable and many other synonyms came to mind.
After both parents died and they were left to fend for themselves without friends nor family, they grew more and more frail in statue and probably in mind. Anytime children passed their house they would throw stones at them further rattling their nerves.
As a child, I did not realize that their mode of dressing was of a strict sect. They had long sleeve dresses that went down beneath their knees and thick stockings even in the 90 degree weather of a Caribbean sun. They left their house only in the mornings and evenings. Thus furthering the idea that they were witches, and none of us realized that those times were chosen because of less contact.
In hindsight, I now know how fragile or frail our minds were, in not making our acquaintance with these women. What we might have learned from them. How happy they may have been to mix with the neighbors. We probably would have learned how to be content in whatever situation we were placed. Maybe I might have learned how to do some fancy needlework that they were constantly doing from my vantage point of the curtainless window. Now I have to rely on Youtube and Google to teach me needlework.
Sometimes I reflect on the past and I ponder on the different people that passed through my life. The old witches always come to mind. If they were so bad how they did not put a hex on us. How quiet and frail they looked each depending on the other for survival in our cruel paradise.