People everywhere search for paradise here on earth, and sometimes they find it — like my friends J and P at their spot in Huatulco, Mexico.
And right now I’m experiencing their little Eden, currently lounging on a wicker chair in J and P’s hideaway, their condo high on a point.
I have freshly squeezed orange juice in one hand, and with the other, I’m reaching for my large cup of newly ground, aromatically-perked Oaxacan coffee. I lift the coffee cup and salute the blue, blue sky through the open-air side of the room. It’s 26 degrees and at 8:15 a.m., it’s not yet humid as it will be later in the day. I taste the pungent coffee flavour, and at the same time, place my foot on the table-footstool. I lean back, contemplating this private world and appreciating this moment in time.
This early in the morning, I’ve just returned from a rollicking swim in the ocean here at Tangolunda Beach. I use the term “rollicking” because I’ve had to stroke my way up and over the giant swells out along the 80 metres of buoy line.
And on the way back, I slip my body over the crest of the green waves and scramble down the troughs of shallower water. I aim for the beckoning sand of the beach, but it’s not easy to get there — to reach the soft giving sand.
But here at 8:30, I’m relaxing and sipping coffee beside my friends’ plunge pool. It’s open to the outer world and placed at the end of their living room exactly where the extra room of a balcony or outer room would be. It’s five metres by six metres and about 1.5 metres deep. The water appears bluish because of the pool’s pale-blue paint, and the water is slightly cool when you enter.
Still, it is warm enough to be pleasant, so that every morning after his ocean-swim and the long upward walk from the beach, my friend J plunges into this small pool. He swims back and forth a few times until his sweat-drenched body is cooled off.
While he takes himself off to dry and change, I finish my coffee. I watch the water circulate around the pool carrying a few red bougainvillea blossoms and a brown leaf. I look toward one of the walls and note an on-site gecko, one of my friends’ perpetual guests, peeking out from behind a wall ornament. I believe I may have wasted my life.
Out over the pool’s edge and railing, I scan the domes of far-off luxury apartments. At the public beach, bathers are beginning to appear. Lower down is the all-inclusive Dreams Resort, so quiet this time of morning with only a few residents sunning themselves.
I want to tell the Dreams Resort people that where we’re visiting is the real place of dreams. Someone built it, and my friends J and P came. And then we came to luxuriate there with them.
A moment later, several birds tumble into the leaf-free tree that overlooks the pool. Twice a day, there may be orioles, grackles, finches, grey magpie-jays, canyon wrens, flycatchers, and kiskadees.
Three kiskadees (like flycatchers with their yellow breasts and black-white striped foreheads) take the stage. They perch on the rail to the pool examining the water. As I don’t move, they take turns diving onto the surface of the water, fluffing their feathers, and then returning to the perch for another go. They seem to own this spot as much as my friends do.
All of a sudden, my friends have breakfast ready, so reluctantly I leave the pool alcove and pad up to another spot in paradise.