Thursday, July 14, 2011

Small Moments of the Ordinary

Yesterday included a couple of memorable moments in the humdrum cycle of hours. Always looking to extract a glimpse of the unusual during these days along the edge of Florida where it meets ocean blue, and more times than not something will arise to banish the mundane. Surprises are not always found at the water’s edge, but now and then popping up in unexpected places on dry land.

Wednesday’s pop-ups were on the beach, in my front yard and at the barber shop in town. With hair hanging around my ears I called the place in town where I get regular haircuts to make an appointment, but learned that my usual barber is on vacation. Too long to wait for her return, I made an appointment with someone unknown. From that moment forward visions of butchered hair haunted me. Don’t imagine that mine is a complicated hairstyle requiring the secret and magical arts of one single wizard barber. Probably the plainest kind of cut on the style chart—short but not buzzed. That said, I worry unreasonably, always afraid that no one but the usual barber can do it to my satisfaction. Now, with the deed done I look back and know the worries were uncalled for.

Out of the barber’s chair my first thought was that it looked better than usual, more to my liking than what I get from the barber now on vacation. Carol Ann is a friendly lady with a good eye for hair who looks more like a soccer mom than a hair stylist. Who knows? Maybe she’s a soccer mom as well as a hair stylist, but she can cut my hair anytime.

Sitting out on the patio yesterday I caught movement out of the corner of my eye and turned to see a black snake only a short slither off the patio, head raised six inches off the ground looking me right in the eye. Maybe three feet long, not even as thick as a broom handle, clearly not a poisonous snake, I guessed it to be a black racer, a type not uncommon to this area. What was he doing in the pitt shrubs by my patio? With the number of lizards scampering in and across the shrubs during this season, it’s pretty clear he was looking for a bite to eat. After a minute or two the snake retreated into the bushes where the hunting is probably better.

My walk on the beach came late in the afternoon on Wednesday, a time when some of the heat had passed away with little worry about slogging though sledge hammer glare. The weather forecast predicted rain and I was almost disappointed it never came. Walks in the rain are often exhilarating as long as lightning is not a threat and the day before I met a downpour as refreshing as a desert oasis. But Wednesday’s post-snake walk was one without the predicted rain. Water temperature being what it is in mid-summer (70°-75° F) dead fish on the beach are a rare sight. Little but sand, water and people in mid-July, with even small numbers of jelly fish washing up. The hefty half-fish I came upon yesterday was a surprise. Looks to me like it was in the wrong place at the wrong time and met some hungry jaws out there in the blue. Not altogether sure my guess is accurate, but I think it is one called a jack fish. An hour or two prior to the photograph here, it was a fish at least fourteen or fifteen inches long. Can’t be very pleasant to suddenly be bitten in half, even for a creature without a central nervous system.

1 comment:

  1. Nice snapshot of A Day in the Life Along the Atlantic. Nice observations all around. Interesting books are built of just such everyday observations and they serve to make readers pause and consider what is endlessly underfoot or merely a glance upward. Even the haircut tale serves to show we spend much too much time worrying about something not important at all.


About Me

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Oak Hill, Florida, United States
A longtime expat relearning the footwork of life in America