Daybreak. Bright electric blue sky sliced by clean white rays rising from the still hidden golden orb. I cannot resist the crisp morning, fresh with sweet promise of accomplishments and adventures as yet unknown. Steam rises from my coffee as I contemplate beginnings, possibilities.
The beep, beep, beep of equipment moved into place by the palm trimmers. They’ve been cutting fronds for two days, dropping them from the sky, stacking them below. My morning view includes fifteen of these trees, standing impossibly tall and thin, sporting new haircuts, a few tightly-grouped fronds sprouting from their heads, reaching for the sky, lending them a naked look of perpetual surprise.
This morning highlights the perils of home ownership. Despite being on wheels, my home suffers the same raft of things – that go wrong – as any home. Today it’s the depletion of a battery which runs the 12-volt lights. Yet somehow, the refrigerator, which runs on 110, will not run without this battery, so I’m feeding my cooler ice every day. It’s the weekend. The likelihood of getting help is slim. Apparently my trickle-charger has been stolen from an unlocked storage bin. I’m feeling the slow creep of a full-blown overwhelm.
Recognizing that there are no immediate solutions, I get hold of my emotions and give them a good shake. When nothing can be done, there is nothing to do. Feels like the perfect time to visit the pool. Cool blue water refreshes body, mind and spirit. Meeting a friend there brings conversation, commiseration, and shared aaahs for the joy of submersion.
For awhile, a hefty, sixtyish man in a brimmed sun hat, noodle tucked under his arms, keeps up a running soliloquy by following us around the pool, trying a bit too hard to explain his belief in the equality of all humans, finally followed by his return to his own friends – and the immediate telling of a black joke.
We move from pool to hot tub, soothing sore muscles, and back to the pool, now free of revelers and proselytizers alike. As hot afternoon wears into balmy evening, my friend heads home and I venture into the clubhouse library in search of books to borrow. I come away with several, including David Gutterson’s “Snow Falling on Cedars.” Relaxed and happy, I return to the pool for one last swim.
Floating on my back, looking up at the dark night sky. Against that dark backdrop, bright white, moon-illuminated, cotton candy clouds hang by invisible threads, creating the illusion that I can simply reach up and touch them, perhaps tear off a bit of fluff to melt in my mouth.
Back home, I scrounge up a dinner of items not requiring refrigeration, and retire to the bedroom, where the nightstand holds my only 110 lamp. Opening to the first chapter, I begin to read the beautifully written, ”Snow Falling on Cedars.”