Rough weather lately. Part of it is typical of summer here, so I’ve been told. Rain, rain, more rain and, when the sun comes out – and it most definitely does – the heat is intense and the colors are subtle washes mixed together with bold layers in a visual cocktail that wets the appetite for curiosity, and I am a curious soul.
My morning walks are determined by the weather on any given day. Too humid or hot? Too dark and cold? Too early and wet? Decisions. It is, afterall, Florida. Bug repellent has become my new best friend, and I’ve been fortunate to find one that has natural properties and is free of harmful chemicals. Well, the bugs certainly don’t like it but it keeps them away from me as I stroll along the island paths early in the morning, my iPhone on my hip belt, the earphones in my ears, and ready at all times to take a photo of – something.
We lost power the other night ( it was really 4 a.m.). I was reading a Kindle book on the laptop. Now and then, I simply can’t sleep and reading seems to help. It calms me. It lets my vivid imagination know it isn’t alone. The bedroom was quiet except for the telltale sound of the air conditioner humming and occasionally spurting, and the only light in the room was that of the laptop screen. The cat was asleep at the foot of the bed. My glasses, as they always do, were slipping down the bridge of my nose. Suddenly, I heard the crackle and pop of a power outage and saw the accompanying flash of light outside the bedroom window. Loud thunder. Lightning in the distance. Laptop down. Cat up. Pitch black inside. Wet and dark grey outside. I can’t even see the moon. What? Do I remember the page number? Damn. Was she going into the room or was she already in it and what was he wearing that caused her to be startled? Geez…
I am technology dependent. I could camp in the woods and enjoy it. I could, and I have. I could hike and dig a hole when I need one and brace myself against the elements. And, yes, I have. But I’m not going to again any time soon. I have an iPhone, a laptop, a PC, a computerized mileage tracker and a GPS. I won’t even mention all the kitchen gadgets I’ve owned in my lifetime. Power outage? In Florida? In the summer? Argh…
The cat stared at the window, without moving, until 5:30 a.m. when the power was restored. She yawned, stretched, and rolled over returning to whatever she had been dreaming about before the power outage occurred. Me? I returned to the Kindle book to discover that “…as she walked into his bedroom, she was shocked to see that he was standing there in black, silk pajama bottoms and nothing else except a smile. He was even better looking than she’d remembered.” Ah. I hadn’t lost my place after all.
The Morning After: Walking along the island paths is always wonderful. The only sound I usually hear is my favorite music through the earphones I wear connected to my iPhone. Los Lonely Boys. Del Castillo. Yo Yo Ma. My mood and need dictate what I listen to. Do I need energy or do I need to relax? Each day is different. Today, after the storm and power outage, I wanted to listen to the silence around me instead of what comes through the earphones. I wanted to be without the tracker. There was much to look at this morning. I know the locals are used to the storms and the silence that is part of the morning after. I’m not. I’m still settling in. They might even consider me a tourist. But I’m not, really, at least not in the true sense of the word.
The ground was saturated and densely green. The birds were back to their normal comings and goings, some of them picking at downed palms for anything they can find, and some of them still hiding. The echoes from the lake behind me seemed dull and difficult to interpret. Everything in the distance seemed to fade away leaving me to what was directly in front of me as I walked. What I am, I suppose, is a bit of a voyeur. I love the word “voyeur”. One can go so many places with a word like that, and I’m more than willing to follow it where it takes me. So far, it has taken me here…
jacqualine-marie baxman ©2012