Last day here. Time to start packing. I’ve fallen behind in my journal writing but hope to catch up in the next few days before I forget some of the wonderful sights, sounds, and experiences of this area.
On the table beside me is the body of a small creature that looks like mama lizard dated a salamander: long slender body with tiny legs at each end and no tail; a regular dachshund of a lizard. I haven’t identified it yet but will try soon.
I’ll remember the lilting songs of mockingbirds that abound here. They never stop and never seem to sing the same notes twice. More like a medley of show tunes sung by a lineup of guest singers.
The constantly changing sounds and moods of the sea. And the give and take of the shoreline. Pipers dash back and forth with each wave, avoiding the water while pecking at whatever washed up with the last wave. I saw a bird get whacked by a wave the other day. It got knocked off its feet and rolled back by the water before it regained its balance. Mad as the devil, the drenched bird darted up onto the sand shaking its wings like laundry. I bet it hoped that none of its friends noticed its disgrace.
I showed you a picture of a heron on duty beside a fisherman. The guy had two poles working and the patient bird stood close behind him, waiting for a handout. Fish or bait. Didn’t matter. Behind the heron stood a gull hoping for a chance to dart in at the last minute to make a snatch. Another bird, smaller, hung around, hoping for the best.
Spring breakers flooding in. Young bodies barely covered. They could pack their swimsuits in an envelope. They make me want to try harder in the gym. Old men in camp chairs with towels over their bellies and ball caps covering bald pates read with one eye, sneak-ogle the strollers and strutters parading along the water’s edge.
I’ve taken a gym break at 9:00 every day (only missed a few) so my fat is now toned up a bit. In spite of best intentions, I’ve gained weight.
The work has gone well here. Even with shorter days (6:00 – 1:00) I’ve managed well because here there are fewer phone calls, meetings, and other distractions. I finished co-writing a picture book, the first ten poems in a proposed new collection, and worked on chapters one and two in a new book for the classroom. And read seven books. Oh the luxury!
Now it’s time to go home. It has been fun but I think I’m ready.