The sun is setting over this little island paradise, just as it does every day. How the light sparkles off the ocean; an eternal dance they have arranged. Sometimes the sun and the ocean fight and we won’t see the sun for a while. That’s when the ocean becomes furious and scary. The sky cries when they fight, and sometimes she becomes just as upset. Our paradise turns into an isolated hell then.
The sound of the wind and the rain crashing into everything around, but the waves are more terrifying. When they crash into our island, we can feel it all over. Waves turn into a heavy mist and the air becomes so saturated you can taste the salty tears of the ocean begging the sun to return.
When the sun does return, like she always does, the ocean becomes happy. The cool, calm breezes coming off the water are so gentle that they rarely sway grandfather’s garden. The lilacs and lavenders, rhododendrons and gardenias, and his many exotic plants coalesce into a vibrant mix of pleasant floral scents. The wet grass adds to the mix and our island really does smell like paradise.
One of my favorite things to do is visit the aquarium and watch the sun setting from the infinity pool, built just so we can join together on special occasions and dance to the sunset. Once in a while we all catch the last flash of the sun, the rare green ray. The people really light up then.
Grandfather cautions us about the aquarium, though. He means well, the creatures we have are cunning and can pose a great threat if not handled properly. The thick glass is there for our protection. Every door is double padlocked and sealed when cleaning is done and feeding time is over. Our paradise is precious to us. We worked hard to make it perfect for ourselves and we can’t let anything happen to it.
We sure surprised the original inhabitants of our island when we showed up. Grandfather lost a leg and has needed a walking cane since that day. “Oh you should have seen our island back then,” he would tell me so often. He says the air was laden with pollution and the ground covered in litter from shore to shore. We returned the island to her former glory. We keep those inhabitants in the aquarium, showing them how wrong they were in their ways.
They keep their own habitats clean now. Everything is perfect here. Our community cares about one another. Our most troubled days only reveal the glorious scents locked up within the earth, and the majesty of our existence in this time and place. Grandfather is calling. He’s gotten his tentacles stuck again. Please feel free to visit our aquarium. An octopus enjoys life in as much harmony with our surroundings as we can.
I hope you can enjoy life like only an octopus could while in our humble island paradise.
© T.A. Rindler “Eightfold Harmony” 2015
© T.A. Rindler “Eightfold Harmony” Short Stack Story Time 2015