Wish List, May
The Beachside Resident - April 2011

Here’s another exercise for those of you in need of a good soul rattling. I always find writing these lists to be like cracking the shell of a hard-boiled egg with a spoon; bit by bit you chip away that calcified layer of cynicism until all that is left is the truth, soft and glistening from within.

It’s a wish list, simple enough. My hopes and desires for the month of May. I admit I was feeling somewhat mired in the sludge when I scribbled it down last night… caught in a flat spell, you might say. It took me half an hour, but most of that was spent on the first three items. The rest flowed out in a few minutes. I tried to keep it realistic and local, and I limited myself to a budget of zero dollars.*

I think May is an appropriate month for such a list. The sun gains weight in May, heats into molten bronze, becomes ideal for burnishing the spirit. It is a transformative time. I hope you enjoy it, and perhaps it will inspire some ideas for a list of your own. Please, sit back and enjoy your drink…

Sip coffee in the early morning sun, Saturday.

Spread a blanket over the grass on a clear night. Lay back, breathe deeply, wait. See a shooting star.

Dig caverns in the sand at low tide; connect together with rivers; sit at a distance to watch the children inhabit your fleeting kingdoms.

Hang up your wetsuit for the season.

Smile at a local… someone whose name you don’t know but whose face you’ve seen a hundred times before.

Stand in quiet contemplation as the sun wobbles red into the river.

Cruise out for a bike ride on a balmy morning. Happen upon a swarm of bright yellow butterflies.

Wander upon a local art show.

Celebrate the miracle of motherhood. Appreciate her. Surprise her. Embrace her. Make her laugh.

Linger over the yardwork. Draw in the sicksweet scent of jasmine and gardenia. Press fresh-born rubber leaves between your fingertips.

Step into the ocean, morning. Allow the energy of the seawater to rise up through your feet, like the first rain sucked up by the thirsty roots of a tree.

Listen to the chittering symphony of migrating gulls.

Consider: to measure your seasons in gentle touches, in insinuations… spring as the most unassuming packages, green-wrapped bulbs on naked branches, monarch cocoons hanging in secret corners of the garden… then the blooms of summer, plumeria, cassia, oleander, hibiscus opening like the fingers of a hand… autumn and winter only in the breath of the wind and the sea, half invisible. Consider, also: to make it as a lover of aesthetics on the Space Coast, you must take time, learn to revel in nature’s minutiae.

Sit on the warm, rolling outside. Study the coastline as you wait for the set wave. Share the peak with a friend.

Watch a young sea turtle duck its head beneath your wave. Coast high up the wall as you pass it by.

Be astounded by a cloud-painting… a lacework of sunlight breaking through the dark eastern sky, or clouds lit from within like some anenome, or like a dandelion fanning out light in petals… or a low veil of broken morning silver, splaying the light over the ocean like pixie glitter.

Stand with both feet over the nose of your longboard. Cruise impossibly onward. Without intention or artifice, arch your back.

Watch a space ship fire into the blue dusk over the Banana River.

Attend an outdoor concert.

Have a picnic under the shadow of a live oak.

Watch the first gleam of the sun unfold like a rose petal on the eastern line of the ocean.

Breathe in the last of the winter winds. Remember their scent, so that you might stir them into the mix one humid summer day.

Go to a surf contest.

Walk down the warm sand, barefoot, early morning. Run back up, feet burning, late afternoon.

Toast yourself in the sun. Urge red skin into healthy brown. Tan peace signs into your feet.

Re-evaluate your perspective. Notice new details along the same old roads.

Stand-up paddle among the mangroves. Drink in the golden light.

Smile at a dolphin. Receive a smile in return.

Be a summer person. Take on a sultry perspective. Succumb to the thick, dank air. Prowl through the day at the sun’s pace. Become immune to mosquito bites. Accept that you will sweat. Be prepared, on any given day, to strip down to nothing and go tribal.

Enjoy moments as they come. Live in the now. Seek out the beauty in all things.

* A few non-budget items did creep onto the list — I’m including them here. The “discretionary earmarks”:

Dine on cheese fondue at Heidi’s. Have a cocktail and let the sweet sounds of the Ron Texeira trio usher in the night.

Drive over the causeway for a slice of real pizza at Ryan’s Village Pizza in Cocoa Village.

Satisfy your health food craving with a Maverick’s at The Green Room.

Drop into Oasis Shaved Ice for old-school kitsch and a Hawaiian-style treat. Ask for condensed milk on top.

Crack open a cold bottle of Cote de Provence rosé wine.

Indulge yourself with an evening at the Fat Snook.