Morning arrives with the neighbor’s sprinklers
automatically timed to come to life with the break of day,
susurrant, rhythmic spurts spreading out like spokes
on the July blades of grass, slowly awakening life.
These humid mornings force a fatigue even before energy can stir.
Memory connects me to a cool morning in Jamaica years before
when I awakened to the ticking of the sprinklers
as their soothing cool waters hit the bases of the palm trees and garden leaves,
their sounds mingling with the rhythm of the blue-green waters of the Caribbean.
Outside the sliding door of my room
peacocks were strutting on the stones of the patio.
A walk took me on a path that wound through the wet grass
and gardens of bougainvillea, red hibiscus, and ginger lilies,
ending at the edge of the ocean where a native sat in his rowboat at the dock
singing and skillfully arranging shell jewelry and wood carvings
on the aged gray boards.
Curiosity brought me to his side.
He grinned and greeted me with his distinctive Jamaican accent.
“Everyone here is so happy,” I said.
“When you are not sick, you are happy,” he said.
“Always be happy.”
So simple, I thought. Life here was so simple.
He did not pressure me to buy his jewelry.
He just smiled and laid out his wares on the dock.
I walked back along the wet paths
to the rhythm of the waves and the sprinklers
and his voice telling me to be happy.
Memory fades and I’m listening again
to the nearby sprinklers
soothing me in a new way now,
memory having freshened my thoughts,
rhythmic waters healing my soul.
© Barbara Flass 2011