It’s Sunday morning, only our second Sunday since arriving on the Island on November 15th last but another in a succession of warm, sunny days which we’ve delighted in for the past two weeks. I gaze out the wide front windows of the condominium onto the expansive green common. A black cat crouches at the edge of the pool, staring into the water as though watching something below then eerily turns its green orbs in my direction, its tail motionless. Small birds flit between the palm trees. The water of Calibogue Sound shimmers in the distance. Pelicans and herons sail mere minutes above the water. The early morning sunshine is creeping over the manicured hedges. Schubert and Brahms mollify the whole. A runner clad in white clothes whisks by on the beach. Two walkers, heads down toward the sand, stroll along the beach, speechless. A cone tumbles from a sea pine.
There are three bright mandarin oranges in a small glass bowl on the dining table. Last evening there were six oranges (three in another bowl). I begin peeling the first of the three remaining mandarins. One by one I consume them. Intermittently I sip hot, black coffee. We consult the Tide Chart and satisfy ourselves that we have hours before the tide will be out far enough to allow us to bicycle on the beach. Meanwhile we register that we need some provisions for our food. We quickly decide to shower and go to Fresh Market before we slip into our cycling routine for another day. Our regime is automatic, undeniable and unavoidable.
The moment we left the condominium and panned the parking lot we saw that many of the Thanksgiving weekend visitors had already departed. We were slowly reclaiming the privacy to which we’re accustomed on the Island. The drive to Fresh Market through the caverns of sea pines, palm trees and live oak covered in hanging Spanish moss reinforced that it was Sunday and that the holiday was over. Everything was quiet. Even the air was almost motionless. Although we fulfilled our shopping duty at Fresh Market with an element of enthusiasm, the lethargy of this tranquil Sunday was incrementally overtaking us.
We returned home and unpacked the groceries then, famished, greedily tucked into our chicken wings and veggies, followed by granola and vanilla yoghurt. This naturally only added to the lethargy of the warm Sunday afternoon. Nonetheless we set off on our bikes as planned, no doubt more out of habit than anything else. At Beach Club we joined the beach and cycled to Coligny Park. Once there I was having trouble denying my fatigue. As I contemplated going to Marker 97 at Burke’s Beach, it was sounding more and more like traveling to Mars. Wisely we agreed to cut short our regular tour and turned back along the beach into the sun towards Tower Beach nearby our condominium.
We clung as close to the water’s edge as possible, occasionally having to skirt around inlets. The north wind which for weeks had been bringing the clear skies had begun to subside; for the first time in days we were obliged to pedal to project ourselves along the beach. The blazing sun bestowed its manifest heat and blinded us in spite of our sunglasses. It was no deprivation finally to succeed to Tower Beach and regain the shade of the paths. Soon we were back at the condominium. Moments later I was stretched upon a chaise longue beside the pool, eyes closed, oblivious and asleep in the dying sunshine filtering through the tall palmetto fans.