Tuesday, April 12, 2005


I can't sleep because I'm changing my schedule around. My mind wouldn't shut off last night and kept rolling from subject to subject.

I'm planning the ritual for Beltane, something not in the books, but something more elemental, something inside me like a race memory or just a feeling that ties me to the earth, to growing, planting, life, and the promise of life. Then my childhood and walking shadowed pathways alone, most of the time barefoot, and happy.

What I remember most is: Long stalks of bananas still hard green and ripening to softness, bright yellow speckled with black in a haze of fruit flies, cut from the trees behind our house and down into the ravine where I played out of sight. The thick milky slurry of green coconuts, a flashing machete slicing away the green fibrous husks and cracking the hard shell for the oily milky pudding inside. Climbing into the tree at the edge of the jungle to bite into the thick sharp green skin for the sweet tart red pulp inside. The orange morning sun slices that slid off my fingers into my mouth in a warm wet rush to lie tingling and tasty on my tongue. Sun-warmed limes the size of lemons that smelled of honey and bees and tasted of summer even in the winter from the tree at the bottom of the hill that led from our circle to the main base road. Long tubes of fresh buttered popcorn sitting in two inches of fine salt in the cool movie dark. Flame-colored flowers starring the bushes between the houses where we sheltered from the tropical sun, pulling golden threads from their insides and sucking their nectar before stringing them together for tiaras, bracelets, and necklaces to give and to wear. Leaping flames of red, gold and blue against a dusky sky, eating smoky bites of muscled flesh on sticks from the fire near a row of upturned shells where short feeble legs kicked against the glowing horizon just out of reach of the lapping water of a half moon bay. Thick sugared syrup over shavings of ice on a breathless day and the salty sweet-sour bite of dried plums from the dark-shelved store in town. Crashing pounding surf along a dazzling sunlit beach that whispered and beckoned in a shushing caress to follow the sparkling waves to pirate treasure and hidden reefs. Climbing stone blocks to terraces of rusting cannon to look across the closely huddled jungles out to the sparkling water where friends and foes crawled to the forted heights. The long green shadowy silence just below the lip of the hill to the mystery of the jungle where ancient hidden cities waited to be discovered by intrepid children wearing leather sheathed machetes that bumped the length of grubby tanned legs, seeking refuge and adventure and safety. Long barefoot walks where I slipped like a wraith in sun-dappled green and brown and riots of color from close-curving canopies to leaf-littered paths where silver-edged oily lengths slipped whispering along the paths that led to mirrored pools where I swam in clouds of darting, shifting fish, a mermaid of flashing suntanned legs brought back from fantasy with the growing shadows to run crashing back to clipped hedges, sharp green lawns and a world ruled by adults.

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