It’s time to clean out this Conch House and say goodbye to a little island paradise that gave me more beauty than I could have ever imagined.
I rented this house knowing it was a temporary home. I have had nothing but temporary homes for the last few years, and this was not going to be any different. Only it has been different this time.
Secluded as it is, I have had company every day. There are two mourning doves that perch on the deck rail outside my bedroom. An iguana pair suns themselves on the seawall a few times a week. There are more lizards than any troop of boys could catch. There was a snake on one occasion; a black racer. I did not welcome that particular bit of nature, although they are harmless.
Two White Ibis and two Glossy Ibis wander the front of the house pecking around the bushes and bases of the trees. I sometimes see them drink from the pool in the back. Brown Pelicans stop by frequently, cruising low and stopping to float for a time on the water. There is a lone Double-crested Cormorant that often paddles by close to the sea wall; I see it two or three times a week. Always so low in the water, only its head and neck exposed. Then it slips under and is submerged for what seems like an impossible time.
There are others that I cannot identify. There is a hawk that visits regularly, but I have never seen it well enough to know what type of hawk it is. What I thought was a woodpecker, but now think might be a Kingfisher shows up now and then, as well as many more mystery birds.
But what is going to break my heart is saying goodbye to the palms. They are the last things I see at night, before it is too dark to make out more than their silhouettes. They are the first thing I see in the morning. There is almost always a breeze coming across the water, and watching them move is like watching a beautiful dance. My favorite, the tallest one in the shot above, put me in mind of my mother from the first night in the house. I have no idea why, but I think of her when I look at that palm.
During a few of last summer’s wild storms I watched it bend low, the fronds stretched out on the wind. I was comforted by that palm, knowing it had experienced many many wild summer storms. I decided that I would not panic unless it broke, or the lightning struck it down. We were both always fine.
I grieved my mother’s death in this house, surrounded by nature. Now it is time to say goodbye, and say thank you.