What a sweet, sublime awakening! Three of Mother Ocean’s timeless clocks gently stirred me from sleep. First, the boat shifted as the tide switched direction. Then the sun nudged just high enough to peek into one of AVENTURA’s portholes. And finally, a flock of wild parrots boisterously flew over the bay, swapping gossip and recipes.
I lay on my back wondering if the ship’s geckos were smiling as joyously as me. Probably not, since they were unaware of how happily emancipated I felt. Unlike so many of my fellow humans, I was not a slave to the Tyranny of Frenzy. The dictators of Speed and Stuff did not control me.
My plan had been to start a new essay this morning on some political or economic issue that was troubling me. But then I heard … the laughter in the mango tree. Three small cayucos were pulled up onto the beach of the little island where I was anchored. There were many tiny, one-tree islands in my neighborhood, but those all featured tall, skinny palm trees. But this one boasted an enormous mango tree. And today it had five giggling interlopers.
Up in the branches were two boys and a girl. They would vigorously shake the limbs trying to dislodge some of the ripe fruit. Down below a girl and a boy raced around with empty rice bags trying to catch the falling mangoes. After half an hour, the rice sacks were almost full and the kids came down from the tree. Then the five of them leaned their backs against their cayucos, stretched their bare feet into the water and savored a spring-time feast. The scene was so pure and idyllic that I could visualize Gauguin reaching for his easel and brushes.