Five o’clock and a faint light under the resort room curtains causes my eyes to open with a BLING! I am awake and won’t be able to get back to sleep. My wife hates that because she is NOT a morning person. So I use the light from my cell phone to find my glasses, clothes, and get dressed. I grab my laptop and quietly leave before I start singing or laughing to myself… which she can’t stand even more, this early.
I take the elevator down and walk through the quiet lobby where there is already some activity going on. A biker comes in wearing a knit, pulled down black ski mask type of hat. He’s walking stiffly, as if he has arthritis and was riding his hog too long.
I walk past the terrarium, a glass case with a single glass partition in the middle. One side holds a Gila Monster, the other, a King snake. Every morning I find them sleeping right next to each other. Two enemies sharing their warmth and company through a single pane of glass.
No sun yet. The sky is a uniform light grey. The mountains are dark silhouettes. The white Christmas tree lights illuminate the trunks of the palms. The birds are excited. They are singing and talking to each other. There are Morning Doves, and Jackdaws? An egret stands on the side of the pond; still puffed up as the morning air is cool and dewy. The Morning Doves and Jackdaws walk closely by me, looking for any food or tidbits that may fall off my empty table. In the distance, three ducks complain and fly off. A Ladder-back Woodpecker scolds me because I am in his territory.
There is a pond and the bowl of a very small valley before me. Short green golf course grass surrounds the pond, punctuated by sand traps, and a green fairway leads off to the horizon. It is all rimmed by small bushes, and short trees. The “rough” in which they are planted is a light sandy colored gravel. In the pond is a large modern sculpture. What I take to be a bird with a ring for a head is standing on a ball in the water. The ring is incised with pictographs.
Already the sounds of civilization impinge. Off to the left I hear construction machinery, and one of the resort staff whirrs by on his Segueway. A grounds maintenance worker rides around the rim of the bowl on his golf cart. I hear the warning peep peep peep of a vehicle backing up behind the building to the right.
The sky has lightened some. The beginnings of a soft chiaroscuro silhouette the mountains. They begin to take on their rose hue.
The light sensors on the palm trees have kicked in and the Christmas tree lights have gone out. The green of their strings blends in with their cork-like bark. A white man with an unleashed white poodle walks by and some kind-sounding words encourage her to walk over and sniff my outstretched hand. He says that’s doing pretty good for her.
A female duck with a lone chick swims around the edge of the pond and a fish roils the surface to snatch a bug. The duck is on land now and can’t understand why her little duckling can’t climb out. She waits patiently for it but ends up waddling back in to the water. A leather-back turtle paddles slowly by.
The sun is about to climb over the mountain. Now the chiaroscuro is lightning and the landscape has taken on definition. The sky has turned light blue and the rose has retreated to the horizon.
Car sounds Doppler the background. A Hispanic woman in neon green shorts, white tee-shirt and water bottle jogs by.
Dawn climbs over the mountain. The brilliant white light of the sun scintillates, turning everything gold and casting shadows. For a moment all the birds and I are silent and still.