THE DAY, WAS WRITTEN AS A REFLECTION ON THE AGING LIVES OF OUR ANCESTORS, ESPECIALLY THOSE THAT ARE STILL WITH US AND LIVE IN A MODERN WORLD WHILE HAVING OLD WORLD PRINCIPALS. IT IS A SERIES OF OBSERVATIONS ABOUT THE LIFE OF AN OLD FISHERMAN. FOLLOWING IS CHAPTER ONE. OTHERS WILL COME. aS A NOTE, i WROTE EACH PARAGRAPH SEPARATELY AND MOSTLY AFTER EXPERIENCING SOMETHING SPECIAL.
OBSERVATIONS BY THE SEA
On Aruba, early in the morning, close to the ocean, the day begins.
High over the shore line, a bird floats while looking down on the island that he considers his home. He floats effortlessly on the sea-side thermals as he scans his domain to make sure that all is tranquil and as it should be. Out of the corner of one eye, he sees a small Cunucu house. It is the same house that has become a landmark and point of reference for many generations of birds. The outside walls of the house are a blinding white while the heavy windows, shutters and crude doors are covered with multiple layers of dark green heavy enamel paint. The inhabitants of this sole and lonely Cunucu house have long ago become accustomed to the shrieking sounds of the birds overhead. The bird sounds are mixed with the constant sounds of ocean lapping against the nearby shoreline. Over time, the sea and constant winds have painted green stains on one side of the large shoreline boulders and a salty glistening wetness on the small house. The house would be cleaned, the boulders will not. All the while, the bird hangs high looking about in his silent vigil.
The shoreline sand is a mixture of small rolling shells and sand - both follow the same back and forth movements of the gentle surf. A soft and gentle sound comes from the surf. It is a sound made by the shells as they struggle to get out of the water and on to the land. During their efforts they take time to lie still, momentarily clinging on to the land, only to be swept out again to the sea by the same small waves that brought them there to begin with. Their seeming quest is to be a part of white beaches or perhaps to lie in the sun and, with the passing of time, to crumble into soft sand and be a part of the nearby rolling dunes. It is an eternal quest, pushed forward by an eternal process that creates an eternal soothing sound. It is the sound of the shoreline.
The bird flies overhead and observes all of this. He has seen it before and slowly blinks his eyes and turns to the ocean to look for signs of the massive schools of small fish that comprise his constant meal. At this moment and on this day, there are none.
In the dusty Cunucu bush nearby, a thin, grey and dusty dog rests after a night on the prowl. His lean muscles are unable to hide the bony structure that supports them. Not far away, a small grey owl nestles in a hole he burrowed in the dried coral. He sits in his home, his head sticking out and spinning on his body much like a bulb in a socket. He surveys the area around him. Finally his spinning head stops as he seems to stare at something far off. With a small hop he is airborne and hovers over the area he was looking at. With incredible speed he swoops down as he prepares his talons to grab on to something. Moments later, he is back in his burrow with a half eaten lizard. Small beaks deep inside await the regurgitated morsels. Both dog and owl occasionally eye each other. They are establishing their respective domains.
The scene is remarkable. The colors of the landscape are stark with edges that serve as boundaries for the changes from one piece of nature to the other. The deep blue of the ocean is tinted with white specks of foam on the wave crests. That same blue turns to an aquatic green as the land nears and the waters turn shallow. The blinding white sands shout out to the skies as if to say I am the edge that keeps things in order. I keep the sea at bay. I am land. Moving inland, the colors of the white beach fade into brown reddish hues that declare the harshness of this land. Not far away are the watchful owl and the grey resting dog. Further in, and comforted by sparse Divi-Divi trees and large boulders is the white Cunucu house with its, recently painted, green windows and doors. Hovering over all this in the crisp blueness of the sky and the white passing clouds, is the bird. The colors are astounding. They shake the essence of any man who sees them, yet brings peace. God had his hand in this. The bird floats above and looks down at this splendor. He is transfixed by the small wisps of smoke coming from the Cunucu house.
Inside the Cunucu house, in a small room with walls painted white, the windows are open and sweet salty sea breezes float across the brown face of a man as he lies in his bed. His shocking white hair is thick; tufts of which flow with the wind acting like human weather vanes. His upturned belly is rotund and his hands are massive. The calluses on his feet speak of toil.
This is how it was quite some years ago, here - in this corner of a small island, where not many people lived.
In this way the day began.