An Excerpt from Jim Conrad's
NATURALIST NEWSLETTER
of July 3, 2011
Written at Mayan Beach Garden Inn 20 km north of Mahahual
on the Yucatán Peninsula's eastern coast just north of the Belize border,
in the state of Quintana Roo, MÉXICO

    AMOOOOOOOOOOOOR...

Mid afternoon is when unnecessary matters go away and things that are left become most vividly themselves. By then morning's squalls from off the water have cleared out but late afternoon's big purple storms haven't formed yet, so above there's just simple blue sky and a few white clouds sailing by. A casual breeze halfheartedly twists Coconut Palm fronds back and forth, the mockingbird interrupts his singing with some scratching and looking around, and biting yellow flies hang hopelessly on the screen door. Nobody and nothing is fully awake, or really sleeping. Mid afternoon is just for being.

Down in the kitchen Fabiola has a certain CD she plays every day, again and again, some lady with a sharp voice that's both complaining and beseeching, the one word most frequently ending her phrases being "amor," or "love," and the word is sung strung out so that it hangs in the afternoon air like sticky saltspray, like the feeling that somehow we've gotten stuck in this exact time and place for too long, but, it's OK, kind of, no... yes... maybe... "amoooooooooooor... "

And, why wouldn't the word "amor" be the very one right now holding this time and place together, this slender ridge of unstable sand pointing in opposite directions forever, the exalted, breedy ocean with its coral reef on one side, and horizon-to-horizon mangrove, just as exalted and breedy, on the other side, in this in-between zone, this tension between being asleep and awake...

"Amoooooooooooor... "?

What a curious sensation to vividly see plants and animals here on the beach intimately harmonizing with disembodied, shrill callings of a lady frantically complaining while beseeching on the theme of "amoooooooooooor..."

What a curious sensation to recognize that the lady and her song, the song's sentiments and workings, and even the plastiky little CD player her words screech from are as much a part of irrepressibly evolving Nature as Sargasso heaped on the beach, Brown Pelicans winging by as I think these thoughts and, in fact, the very impulse that keeps me sitting here thinking, thinking, thinking.

What a curious sensation, pelicans and song, this mid-afternoon's mood and meanings, "amoooooooooooor," alone on the beach. Facebook Icon.