Early morning walk Darkness fading Wakening birds season the quiet Joggers to arrive soon Sun to rise soon Cars to cobblestone-rumble by soon I look to this gate It seems secure I ponder what shelter may lie behind
One morning every two weeks more or less, when the falling tide aligns with the rising sun just right, Elaine and I wheel our homemade dinghy down to the end of our street where it meets the sandy bank of the Tolomato. We launch the boat there and row across the river to Indian Creek where we explore and map its several winding navigable channels and their shallow branches that slice through the marsh’s cordgrass; where we marvel at the heron, and the ibis, and the stork that hunt knee deep in the shallow waters near oyster bars and take flight with wing-beating haste as we draw near; where we seek out promising locations to fish for mangrove snapper, spotted sea trout, and black and red drum. You would not think it, but each and every boating morning, upon climbing out of sleep and as I wait for daylight to leak into night’s darkness, I listen with languid longing for the sound of rain or of strong wind so that I might whisper to my wife that we must cancel our outing and that we might console ourselves in a second sleep. Fortunately, the gods care for me to the extent that they rarely provide me with a heavenly-excused absence from our undertaking. They are better aware than I that the audible snap of bone against bone as my legs slide from under the covers and bend over the bed’s edge and that the satanic tingling in my left foot as it touches the floor are indicative of the indisputable truth that the greater part of my life stretches far behind me, and yet so much of our understanding of Indian Creek lacks sufficient detail. They are also better aware – praise them – that the taste of eggs, and bacon, and strong coffee prove more gratifying and flavorsome when consumed as Elaine and I pencil in the latest additions to our master map upon our return later that morning.
The old man saw first that the nearest boat was for sale, even through the confines of his camera’s viewfinder, even through the fog, even through the sunless grey of early dawn. And, though he was of insufficient funds, and of strength (and of remaining time), he struggled to make out the contact number.
The statue of Juan Ponce de León at the eastern end of the Plaza de la Constituciónpoints north. Perhaps it is to indicate the location of the Gulf Stream that he discovered, or perhaps it is to suggest that he first landed in Florida a few miles up the coast in 1513.