The temperature reads 102°F. It's 3pm. I'm half in, half out of the swimming pool reading and writing. On top of the tall cement wall sits a three foot iguana. We are familiar with each other. I like to watch him look at the mamey tree. He turns his head from side to side as if wondering how to get at that fruit. I think he looks at me with scorn because the branch - THE access branch - was sawed off to raise the wall three years ago. He will have to search the ground for fallen fruit instead.
I hear him eventually saunter away over the broken glass protectors and flop on to the tin roof next door. He doesn't move gracefully, but he is a beautiful creature. He isn't the only iguana around either, but I think he's 'da man'..
I hear a bird making all kinds of racket. His are odd noises, as if he is imitating other birds, cats fighting, or a rooster crowing. I can't see him, he's up in the giant Batfruit Tree next door, which is growing a huge new batch of bat fruit seeds. Sometimes I whistle back at noisy bird and we banter. Then he laughs at me for being a lousy whistler and he flies away.
I look up into the sky. Lately a hawk has been hovering over the hood. He makes several passes swooping low enough to just get a look at his white head. When the birds have moved on, the plant life wakes up. The mamey tree has dropped the last of the leaves, the patio is all cleaned up, and now the fruit hits the cement like coconut bombs. The new bright yellow leaves sprouting from the tips of the empty branches create a beautiful contrast against the bluest sky.
There is a hot breeze today. I set up shop in the shady section of the pool where my body feels cool and the hot winds take my senses down tropical memory lane. This helps me recreate parts of the past I am attempting to describe in writing. I can hear occasional traffic passing, buses farting, cars honking, brakes screeching, loudspeakers blaring political messages; but it is not a constant or loud noise. It is just enough activity to remind me that THEY are out there suffering in the heat while I sit here and enjoy my interactions with nature, nurture myself in the cool aquatic medium, and write and rewrite the beginning of the sail story. I may have written the opening paragraphs fifty times so far, but I feel like I am making great progress. How hopeful and positive is that? I am am applying what I am relearning in the book ON WRITING WELL by William Zinsser. It seems to make much more sense to me the second time around. I have stopped overwhelming myself, and that is a great feat for me.
I don't write this to brag about my life. I have so much self-doubt at times I think I should be on antidepressants. I suffered writer's block all winter, perhaps because I was also stressed about finances. The warmer season awakens me, and once I am back on track exercising, feeling healthier and toting a little color, my confidence strengthens, and everything else seem to fall into place. I think I have gotten real about the writing, am enjoying the intense heat, seeing people enjoy the pool, and life just moving along. It's just another Mérida day in May.