Morning Walk April 24, 2014
The morning air is cool in Florida. As May unfolds the heat intensifies, and the humidity, accompanied by a sultriness that is hard to forget, descends. But for now, I enjoy early walks bemused by other walkers, runners and bicyclists. The runners pant listening to ipods, as sweat drips off their noses. The bicyclists ring their bells before they speed around me.
I pass a woman dressed in a perky pink and black jogging suit. She has accessorized the outfit with matching pink head and wristbands, and extra-large sunglasses. The look is borderline ridiculous but obviously her taste.
Meticulously turned down socks do not disguise her age. A tennis racket is tucked in a sack strapped to her back. She is holding a paper cup of hot coffee and the steam moistens her face and smooths out the wrinkles. Wiggling her butt while standing in place, she looks around as though waiting for someone.
I continued walking the trails in Hammock admiring the Live Oak Trees and taking pictures.
There are miles of dirt trails and a large man-made lake that was the site of Animal Land. Animal Land was a wildlife attraction built around the mid 1900’s. People observed the animals from a “motorized vehicle”. Animal Land, along with Marco Polo Park in Bunnell and Peppermint Land in Fernandina Beach no longer exist and are on Florida’s Forgotten List.
I continue on the paved walkway until a man in the distance draws my attention.
He is tall like a soda straw, slight of build and attractive. He walks a white lab on a leash with one hand and holds a smart phone in the other. Closer, his eyes reveal a loneliness not expressed, until in passing, he whispers the saddest Good Morning I have ever heard.
I wonder why he is broken-hearted and surprised nature fails to ease the pain.
The birds mimic my sentiments with a chit-chat conversation of their own. They squawk and chirp to announce something wrong; man ignoring nature.