For all that mankind has done and continues to do to remake the world to better suit our human needs, Mother Nature remains unbowed. We may knock her down for a time, employing brick, mortar, asphalt, and the like to remove all traces of her from our urban spaces. Eventually, though, she always comes back. At the first signs of neglect, she pushes through our structures, our roads, and cities reclaiming the land as if we were never there at all. In the between time, as nature slowly takes over anew, we’re blessed with spaces like this. These are the exterior steps trailing up to the second floor of the old Frederiksted Hospital in St. Croix. Originally built in 1803 as a private residence, the sturdy and stately building sits on Strand Street, right along the waterfront in Frederiksted. The Fred, the newest and nicest boutique hotel to open in St. Croix in forever, debuted last year just a stone’s throw away, breathing new life into the sleepier of St. Croix’s twin cities. A new casual dining option offering amazing sunset views – Louie & Nacho’s – opened soon after The Fred. Another eatery, Braata, helmed by one of the foremost chefs in the Virgin Islands, if not the entire Caribbean, Digby Stridiron, will open its doors nearby later this year. Will the old Frederiksted Hospital get swept up in this new wave of development, its storied steps cleared of all the greenery stretching through the cracks? Time will tell, I suppose. Selfishly, though, I hope that the steps and shrubs can somehow coexist moving forward, the rustic natural beauty preserved along with the history.