Trees. The morning begins with this one sound of the slow rustle of trees circling the hill. The leaves barely brush each other, but the sound echoes across the cement deck and through the umbrellas and the chipped lane lines, making them to sway side to side on their weak cables. Nothing moves except the trees. As light fills the sky, the sun can catch a glimpse of little dots swarming around the water and diving in one by one. Suddenly, the scene can be likened to Grand Central Station as the water splashes the sky, gossip blooms and travels in corners and screams are directed at the little dots in the water. The scarcity of neighbors is no mystery. At this early in the morning, normal people are dreaming away with the sun creeping in through cracks and crevices. But for us little dots, we are blinded and drowned in the sun and water and the sound of people.
Then, just as they entered, the dots slowly retreat from the water and disappear back through the gate. The water slowly drips back from the sky and splatters the deck. The stubborn lane lines fight with the water and each other, but most of all us, as they are rolled back into place. Car doors slam and tires crunch away to the bright green, yellow and red lights down the road. The crystal water becomes so still, it seems like a painting waiting for the jump. Patches of short grass seem to be reaching towards the sky, threatening for you to come and prick your feet. Chlorine hangs in the air and to our suits, overcoming even the smell of sizzling pizza for lunch in the life guard shack.
These are the moments that belong to few people in the world. It is the opportunity to take the remote control and pause your life, rub your eyes from staring at the screen for too long, step back and look around. Where one can sit back and watch the earth and sky move.
For me, all the hubbub of even summer days disappeared like the dots and my only worry in the world was if I was cherishing the moment enough. These moments belonged to me for a short time. A few others and I had the privilege to lounge in the shade and have our wrinkled skin be seared by the hot plastic, and watch the sky and the earth move together. These slow ticks between Grand Central Station mode and patience practice with little children and floaties; they belonged to us too.
A few ticks later, the moment would be gone just as fast as it came and flip flops would scrape the cement once more. Noodles and melting kickboards would be dragged toward the edge of the waiting water. But for that short time, the pool was ours. The water, the grass, the trees- all ours to share and treasure. Day after day, month after month while the noodles drooped lower and the kickboards became as soft as playdoh. These days lingered and escaped every night until the gates were clicked and closed, the water concealed and the dots walk sluggishly down the road home. The moment stays until the deck becomes a graveyard for tent skeletons and the trees lose their rustling leaves to the autumn wind.