This fine Sunday morning I am under the shade of my front porch trying to find inspiration just to get out of the house. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. This weekend I have been completely exhausted, both physically and mentally. I decided to make camp out here with my camera on tripod and shutter release cable by my side and my laptop in front of me. My motivation is to get a good shot at (photo, that is) of a hummingbird drinking from the red turban flowers or the giant pink hibiscus in my garden. My Kit-Kat has come to keep me company and has made a bed on the table in front me. That’s better than making a bed on my head as she has been doing these past couple of nights. My grandmother would say she’s trying to take my breath away. I think she’s trying to do a sort of Vulcan mind meld and sneak into my dreams. She’s a sly one, that cat. I guess she tired of me because she left. She’s a fickle one, too.
Maybe my exhaustion is from the unwavering heat that defines Mississippi in the summer. Even in the shade it is too much to bear without a breeze. Or maybe I just need a vacation from my recent vacation. I did go straight from doing nothing for four days to back to work without a cushion day in between. The older I get I really need that cushion day to rest from the travelling and prepare to return to the regular schedule of the work day.
To think, only last week I was lying in bed in a borrowed beach house and listening to the frog symphony in the lagoon a stone’s throw from the back door. Today I am sitting on my porch listing to the frog symphony in a cow pond only a stone’s throw away from my front door. The difference is last week the frogs were singing near a Destin beach where the breezes blew cool and constant. Today I am in humidity where the lackluster breeze is only a short reprieve and sign of impending rain.
Last week I walked the beach near sunset and again later at dusk. There was a season in my life when the beach had to be a day-long event beginning in the early morning and lasting throughout the day, lying on a blanket under the shade of a brightly colored umbrella anchored in the sand. That time for me has passed. I would rather spend my days lounging in a deck chair near a clear, cool pool under a shady palm with a book in my hand, and saving my beach time for the earliest hours of the morning and then again at sunset through dark.
My favorite time during this last trip was a beach walk I took one evening at twilight. There was a grayish-lilac glow to the lingering light, and fragments of the sun streaked azalea behind billowing mauve clouds. A castle meticulously constructed earlier in the day by a child’s upturned pail laid in ruin from a tsunamic tide. Last week a crescent moon hung in the sky giving only a dusting of pearlescent light to the rolling waves. In the distance heat lightning strobed behind thick clouds. It was a magical hour, indeed, a memory to hold close. But I wish I could be there tonight when the full moon will shine bright, illuminating every ripple in the water, making it dazzle like fine cut glass catching sunlight. Even I feel beautiful under a full moon’s light.
The rest of the long weekend was spent lazing by the pool, or taking walks in the surf. Walking on sand is not really a problem for me, but walking on a sideways incline at the water’s edge proved difficult and painful to my feet. I endured because I love the water so. It was worth the aching feet to stand in the rolling foam and watch the schools of fish dash and dart in synchronous movements. Try as I might to touch them they were always one fin stroke ahead of me and swam from my grasp. The fish are like my fortune, always a stroke ahead and forever out of reach.
I may never have a monetary windfall, but I take my true fortune in bits and pieces as it comes my way; a good family, loyal friends, beach time, a front porch and the occasional company of a sly, fickle cat, to name a few. And, I bought a lottery ticket, just in case.