The manatees hide just below the surface sticking up their heads every few minutes, for a breath or to thrill the tourists who watch intently, because it is a thing to do in this part of Florida in winter.
The restaurants in the harbor don’t mind, it draws a crowd and takes pressure off the kitchen, for people waiting for sea mammals do not grow impatient like those waiting for just burgers or an order of fried clams with a side of fries.
The manatees will never understand humans, why they queue up in the sun to eat animals, when the sea provides a free feast for herbivores if you are only willing to immerse yourself in the search for a meal.
A singe egret sits calmly
on the lowest branch of a long barren tree, where hours from now a thousand birds will arrive for still another evening and night.
He stares at me as I am mindfully vacuuming, watching carefully.
I pause and ask if by chance he is a Buddha and he lifts his long neck and peers around in all directions.
I repeat my question, and he lifts one wing, which I know to be his way of saying, “I, like you, am imbued with Buddha nature, and I with mother nature as well, and if you doubt me ask one of the countless Bodhisattva who will arrive in hours to study the Dharma well into what will be a wet night.
Early this morning the sky was pregnant with the rain that would inundate our afternoon, the sun a struggling visitor then, deciding the battle was lost and sliding away behind the clouds. It is afternoon now and our thoughts of the morning have been washed away, the plants no longer thirsty, risk drowning. We live in a world of never enough and too much, and we are allowed to complain about this day, which is the best reason not to.
The Royal Poinciana is in full bloom, its brilliant flame has led the sun to take jealous refuge in the clouds but we know not to be complacent.
Mother nature it is said, and we are loathe to argue, can be at times the most fickle of bitches and we suspect that it will not be long before she brings forth still another tropical storm, a tantrum in which the jacaranda’s beauty must cede to her repressed envy, scattered at our feet, a warning, perhaps, but nonetheless a moment of beauty that even nature cannot deny us.
Along the shore, this morning, the clouds piled up, refusing entry to the promised sun, which hung back forlorn. The waves charged onto the sand like so many two year olds in full tantrum, banging against all in sight and retreating, only to charge again, pushing away any and all in their path. The wind pummels the sand, and as we walk along the street the wind borne sand tears against our skin urging us to take shelter, reminding us that nature does not bend to the weatherman, and will from time to time play havoc with their forecasts because nature speaks, she never listens.