Saturday, May 26, 2007

one of those days

It’s been one of those lovely days, perhaps even perfect? that come along once in a while and are so easy to forget when things aren’t quite so nice. This is the beginning of the rainy season, and it’s as close to spring as I’ve seen: the earth, so brown and dry just last week is carpeted with tiny plants full of vigour and determination. I walk gingerly, trying not to crush the hope of each seed: maybe one day I’ll be a tree. Not that anyone but the human species needs to compare and contrast itself with others. Plants are plants are plants in all their glory, their existence. My dear guanacaste tree has dropped thousands of seeds this season and perhaps hundreds are sprouting all around us, some even in the crux of branches, a half dozen jostle for space between the steps to the bathroom. Three days ago they were just stalks with that beautiful convex bright green seed shell hiding the end. This morning there’s no mistaking them: they have lost the mantle and are uncurling their second set of true leaves, competing for sunlight below their parent plant.

I love living in this tree. I’ve always lived close to nature, in the cob I was living in it, but it was earth, subsoil and while it held me like a mother and cocooned me like a den or a cave, it didn’t live and breath and grow and drink like this beautiful tree. I have such a love affair with this tree. I’m wondering all kinds of things – why does the seed fall so close to the tree, which will survive, should I transplant the ones too close to the roots, how long will the flowers last, where do monkeys give birth (there was a very pregnant mother outside the kindergarten this morning). These questions seem banal but my mind is teeming with as much new growth as the earth. There’s a small tree just beside me who is gradually putting out leaves, growing them from the tip down, they seem to be a tiny bit larger every time I look. This tree will block my ocean view when its leaves are fully grown, I’ve thought of chopping a branch back, but right now the new growth is so perfect I’m more likely to just enjoy the sound of the ocean instead. The tree is full of life: ants, caterpillars, gnats, spiders, butterflies, a dozen different birds, half a dozen types of lizards, howler monkeys, squirrels and bats. It’s a whole community, each living in its place. I lie on the deck and watch the hawks glide about the branches, down below I hear the snuffling of armadillos. I really need to begin a more detailed account of everything I see. What a lesson this tree is giving me, how lucky I am.

So, it was that kind of day. The kind where the coffee is just right at 6:30am sitting outside on the hammock chair looking at the ocean change colour as the sun hits it. Where the earth is pleased that rain fell in the night and is soft and brown and welcoming. Where just the person you want to see stops in at kindergarten just as we are finding the 12th mushroom in the lawn. Where the children are interested and responsive and happy and curious, where there’s spontaneous singing and openness and love and questions about the mother of mother earth. That kind of day. Every teacher’s dream day where it all flows smoothly and there’s an opening into each child. So delicious. A day where through the tropical downpour at lunch one feels a warm mist of rain as one eats really good curried garbanzos. Where one spots a flycatcher building her nest somewhere close by, filling it with the down from those huge furry seeds and bits of coconut matting. Where the rain stops just as it’s time to walk up the hill and the sun comes out and warm moist air rises around one’s ankles. Where the horses are playing in their paddock the white ones looking like unicorns and the bays like Pegasus so proudly they carry their heads, prancing and kicking and rearing with the wet rising in steam from their backs. Where the shower at the foot of the tree isn’t actually cold but refreshing. That kind of day.