After the muggy weather, we lived in a steam bath, we breathed in water– our lungs turned to gills, our skin, and fur and feathers, unpleasantly drenched with sweat– a new day beckoned. It was the kind of day, my husband used to say, “You pays your money for.” It do cost long green stuff–plenty long green stuff–to live in Hawaii. Always has. Always will.
But this day, that wonderful Sunday–Kauai Marathon Day–was a gift from Mother Nature. We awoke, me and the zoo–Ari, Boots, Reba, Rosa, and Duke–with a stretch and a yawn, a smile and eagerness to get started. The rising sun, behind the hill, gave birth to a misty morning blue and golden cool sky. The silence on this beautiful stretch of country road gave air space to every bird on the Island. Waking up in my jungle house is waking up in an aviary. A crowing roosters– Pavarotti with a beak and wings and long slender chicken legs– starts it off. Joined soon enough with a chorus of trills and tweets and twitters–not the computer kind, oh joy, oh joy–but the real thing. Hope all of you reading this woke up that way, too. Wasn’t it Jimmy Durante who sang, with that scratchy irresistible warble, “Start off each day with a song.”?
“Okeydokey, Jimmy baby,” Duke, the macaw, screeched, “You got it.” They heard him in Metropolitan Kalaheo.
I rushed through morning chores. Fed Duke first, Ari second, Reba and Rosa and Boots third–serving their breakfast at the human end of the house–and brewed a pot of organic coffee. Gathering some vanilla wafers , I took a front row seat on a chair at my end of the barn. Everybody in my house loves vanilla wafers. We munch together. I plump a cushion. Taking off my slippers, I plop my bare feet on the long, book- strewn table. Comfort is my style, coarse eating is my comfort. Crumbs fall and strew about. Boots, who’s finished supping–she’s a very tidy eater–cleans up after me and sits beside me watching the empty road. The kittens, Rosa, the fuzzy black with red streaks, plunk themselves on a black ice chest and sit up watching the street.
At the barn end, Ari, with an arched neck and perked ears, glues his focus on the quiet, empty road.. Duke is perched in his jungle cage facing the street. Gone quiet, he’s chomping a peanut.
The first runner appears. We see only his head and shoulders. A slight glimpse of a handsome torso. Erect, eyes forward, he seems to float by. You can’t hear him breath. You can’t hear his feet. Do they touch the ground? He’s in the zone. He wafts up the hill. It’s 7:40 AM. Soon others follow, heads and shoulders bobbing by in many different Marathon styles.
I kind’a wanted to shout, sweetly, “Get a horse.”
Ari heard me and responded, “Be a horse.”
Wonder if they heard?