Monday, June 06, 2011

Notes from the Tropics


It rains sometimes in the night as we sleep. In the morning the air is fresh and cool, and tastes of the purity of the unplanned day that lies ahead.

The ocean starts the day calm – its surface mirroring the sky’s gentle azure hue. As the day stretches on, a wind whips up -- marring the water’s fragile tranquility.

Palm trees laden with unripened fruit sway laboriously to and fro, determined to remain aloft. Swimsuits hang over the balcony -- lightly fluttering in the moist and thick afternoon breeze.

Petal rose toenail polish and sand are caked stubbornly on the edges of feet brown from the sun.

A white cat sleeps languidly in the shade underneath the hotel’s sign that reads “Fawlty Towers” in haphazardly placed letters. The guests can sense that it is the feline queen, and not their transient selves with their hard-earned currencies, that reigns supreme.

Our pink wooden cottage with its white picket balcony overlooks a pristine tropical beach. My overstuffed chair and writing table are hidden from view -- protected from sight and sun by thick tropical foliage. I can see the beach and road below – but no one can see me. I take comfort in the anonymity.

I watch an old man get in the water – the ocean keeping him suspended in weightless gravity that knows no age. In the ocean, we are all equal  -- swallowed by the quiet vacuum beneath the surface, humbled by the waves’ relentless, powerful march toward shore. 

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