Under the Mangroves

July 2, 2014

By Virginia Amsler

There is a secret place at the end of Useppa that everyone knows about. It's at the end of the old airstrip, at the edge of the beach, and under the mangroves. Age bleached Indian shells, coconut people, hanging mobiles, carved initials, left behind treasures, notes, and daily fresh flowers make their homes. Washed up sand, pieces of broken Pink Path, recycled bricks, marble, and driftwood set the meandering course between branches of overhanging trees. For some The Grotto is a place of contemplation, an island church with pelican choir. For one family wedding vows were renewed and witnessed by their three year old. Little lizards, in the Calusa tradition perhaps spirits, dance among branches. Children play games. Grownups nap on a hammock. for at least twenty years their footprints have more become permanent, their visits recorded in gifts left behind....at least until nature's next great storm.

Photos by UseppaGin