Tari and I were able to slip away last weekend for a quick anniversary getaway. We’ve been doing that pretty much every year since we got married. Since we don’t have many days, we tend to stay “domestic” in our destinations. I learned in talking with her that Tari and never been to the Florida Keys so we decided on that.
We spent two days in Key West and two days in Key Largo. We were able to see a lot of wildlife in the southern Everglades: alligators, lots of birds, manatees. I was particularly drawn to the manatee--basically the cow of the waters. As these mammals live in the canals, they live in brackish water composed of fresh and saltwater. Manatees are freshwater creatures and I was really intrigued to learn that their numbers are growing now because they have learned how to co-exist with humans. We witnessed a juvenile manatee in a populated area where people were literally pouring bottles of water for the manatee to drink. Maybe we are really all supposed to learn how to co-exist in this way--to assist each other with living.
We visited the Ernest Hemingway House in Key West. While he was a great writer, Hemingway was a complicated and curious man. Among the curiosities was his devotion to a strange gathering of cats. Strange because they all have more toes than they should--a product, I suppose of genetics and inbreeding. A typical cat actually has 18 toes. We saw one cat roaming around Hemingway’s house that had 25 toes. Sort of like a freakish carnival.
Then there are the roosters. I still don’t have the whole story on them, but roosters are allowed to roam freely throughout Key West. They are protected. And they crow at all hours of the day. If you check into a bed and breakfast like I did many tears ago, you’ll be surprised when the manager gives you a pair of earplugs--until later that night when you attempt to sleep and the “blessed” roosters crow all night. You offer thanks for the earplugs.
The thing I liked best was the Sunset Celebration. If you’ve been to Key West then you know that every night in Mallory Square--the southernmost point in the continental United States--that a crowd gathers to celebrate the setting of the sun. There is music and street performers and all around good vibrations. It’s not a bad idea in my book to stop and take note of the end of another day. I’m pretty sure not everyone in Mallory Square is a person of faith, but it’s a good occasion to offer a word of thanks for the wonder of another day and a hope that the sun will return twelve hours later.
And so Good Lord, we thank you for all of our days. Help us never to take them for granted.