Ah, sunny Florida. I love the tropics. I am completely at peace when sitting near the ocean. I love everything about it; the smell, the sound, the colors, even the taste of it. It gives me a special connection to nature like no other. It recharges my soul in a way that's hard to describe. Being near the ocean is more than a vacation. It's washing myself in a force that's so much greater than me and letting it absorb my worries.. I really needed this right now. The last month or so has been extremely stressful, and the ocean has been shouting my name.
I've been fortunate enough to spend a lot of time by the ocean and sample many beaches. I love the Caribbean and hope to visit there several more times before I kick the bucket. With any luck, I'll be sipping a margarita and combing the shores of St. Thomas when the good Lord reels me in. Of all the places I've visited so far, Aruba has been my favorite. I love the small town feel of that island, the friendliness of its people and the beauty of its beaches. I have dreams of living there one day. I couldn't find one thing wrong about that place...except for...the iguanas. I hate a lizard of any kind. I'm okay with bugs, mice and spiders, but I can't stand a lizard or snake. In Aruba iguanas are everywhere. Big iguanas. With aggressive attitudes and spikey tales. We walked down a dock one day, and I almosted peed my pants because I stumbled into the midst of about twenty of those things before I realized it. That's the day I almost walked on water. It wasn't a miracle. Just the fear of being on the same soil as a great big lizard. That fear has followed me to Florida, because among all the gorgeous sunsets, warm breezes and beautiful flora of Florida is a mess of lizards. Big lizards. Skinny lizards. Even lizards with chicken pox. Those fellas are everywhere I turn. I ran yesterday throughout this small coastal neighborhood where we're staying and jumped over half a dozen of them before I got back to the house. They're all over the backyard and (gasp!) in the sun porch of the house. I told myself to grow some courage, and about the time I began getting a little less nervous about them we looked out the front door and there was a big black snake...slithering through the front yard. And you know how I feel about snakes. (http://hulagirlatheart.blogspot.com/2007/08/ssssssstay-of-execution.html) This one was a foot and a half long. He was a big 'un. Now I'm afraid to walk through the yard. So I guess the lesson is that paradise is never perfect. And since I'm hoping for a little more paradise in my life in coming years, I'm going to have to get used to the critters that slither. Ya' think they allow rubber boots on the shores of St. Thomas?