We woke up this morning to a storm dispensing high winds and rain across the tropical landscape. We went out as a group, onto the beach before breakfast. The hotel managers stared at us with condescending smiles as if they were all making silent bets as to how long we “tourists” would last out there. The waves, instead of clear, had turned murky. The ocean was so choppy that it felt enraged and the beach was deserted, all save one woman who had to have been over 60 years old. She was wearing goggles and a 1940s swimsuit. I watched her through the thickness of the wind as she waited, waist deep in the riot of the water for the right wave. She would then throw herself into the water and ride the wave into shore. It was obvious to me that she was not a tourist. She has most likely lived here all her life. I find it magic to watch people who are truly inside their element. When people resonate so deeply with the nature of the place that they live, they begin to blend into the landscape. They begin to exhibit the same wild feel about them. The woman I watched this morning had been here long enough, that it felt like I was watching a wild ocean creature playing in the surf. I imagine she loves days like this, when the weather uses the ocean to chase everyone away. I imagine she lives for the tempestuous dance of being alone with those stormy waters. I imagine she has a secret relationship with the ocean; a rapport, which is only ever the byproduct of year upon year of humble communion with it. I know this about her, because it is the kind of relationship that I have with the snow-covered mountains.

Later on this morning, I am meeting with Andrew Bartzis (who is known around the world as the Galactic Historian), and Chris Hales (who has interviewed Andrew and I on a couple of radio shows). Then, we are checking out of the hotel at noon today and taking winter to the aquarium for a few hours before we have to board our plane. Earth may as well be two different planets, one world under the surface of the water and one world above surface of the water. I love aquariums because it feels like I am penetrating the boundary of life on another planet. I can completely lose myself (and my story line) in aquariums. I love the vivid colors of the underwater scenes. I especially love watching the jellyfish. They are incredibly successful at reducing stress levels. I love how they allow the current to take them wherever it wills to take them. I love how beautifully they move through the water. A bit like translucent blossoms opening and closing their petals.

It is raining so fiercely here that the parking lot beneath this window has been transformed into a black lake of water. The rain droplets are blowing across the surface of it. They are creating ripples like they do on the surface of a lake. The sheer volume of the water has consumed the asphalt beneath. It is disconcerting, but it is also a rare treat to see this much water. We never get rain or moisture like this in the high desert. I am hoping that the plane will be able to take off in it. If not, we will be stuck in Florida.