It felt like a day for quiet reflection, recovery. I woke up pretzeled between my loving fur babies. After dressing and a quick cup of coffee, I spent the morning alone downtown. I walked to the end of the street to the local coffee shop on the docks. The baristas swivel around each other, sweating and smiling among the sparse, late morning crowd. A coordinated dance of pony tails, beards, and flannel. My order iss handed to me with a cocoa dusted heart and a smile.
The streets are quiet and the tide is low, the smell of sea water thick in the air. It is 10am and only a hand full of shops are open. This is Friday morning with no expectations. Take your time, drink your coffee, no one is going anywhere, we’ll still be here when you’re done.
The sun threatens, but the clouds hold strong. It leaves the air thick and muggy. I wander in and out of the few shops open. The New Age shop, with the chocolate poodle standing in the doorway and the beckoning scent of incense. The kitchen store with its odd assortment of animal appreciation greeting cards and lady wine club napkins. The bright store with its games, books, and toys. The English store with its tall ceilings and collection of fine silver. It is a street for tourists and admittedly my handled paper bag gets heavier and heavier.
Later, my mother muses that I take a morning for myself, but come back with a bag full of gifts for others. I can’t help it. We head up the hill to meet my father at the old fort. Once used for military purposes, the square buildings all right angles and white paint, now converted to small school for the arts. The field between the buildings is packed with people, dogs, children, and fold-up chairs. An afternoon concert put on for the people. The music sounds all the same to me, but again I find myself witness to the leisurely pace of the local people, walking their dogs, eating their lunches, blowing bubbles, and napping in the grass.
We eventually return downtown where I am scheduled to have my scalp professionally massaged, like Hugh Grant in About a Boy. I close my eyes, unable to see the world around me without my glasses on anyhow. She waves her hands around my head, the open window bringing a soft breeze in, the smell of sea water and lavender all around me..
I don’t often take time for myself, maybe I still haven’t done so. I sometimes think I try so hard to live my life, that I’m not really living it at all. It is places like this, these pockets of the world, that remind me..