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A Day in the Life of

We began our day when it was still dark, waking up to the cock's crow and the rattle of the generator, which, mysteriously, stayed on all night. We took the boat across the water accompanied by the Milky Way above and a spray of bioluminescence below--both undiminished by the moon, which had already set. What brought us out of bed this early was the hunger to see the red bird of paradise, dancing for his mate at dawn.

We saw him. His hop and flutter, wiry tendrils flopping this way and that, coquettishly. He danced in the shadow, in the sun, in the open, behind leafy branches. When it was ending, he preened himself, gave a final dance, and then flew away. I do not know if he was successful.

Days begun this early feel long. It was only 2:30 pm by the time we came back from "exploring" the south side of the beach, where we spent several hours constructing an obstacle course of sand for any hapless hermit crabs we found. Most did not make it out without cheating or being helped--a disappointment to see the same failures repeat themselves as crab after crab took to scaling walls or turning always in the wrong direction.

When we returned I was tired enough to fall asleep (as usual) on the jetty's hard wooden bench. The dive boat's return woke me, but not a minute too early for soon after a gale unexpectedly picked up and sent our hair and papers flapping. Its suddenness was exhilarating. I watched the wind push a weeping thundercloud from one end of the horizon to the other while the sea turned an ominous slate. But, after raining a few drops, it just as quickly became clear again, and now I'm writing in the sunshine.

Days come. Days go. I feel again that I don't want to leave this island.

Posted by chschen 17:00 Archived in Indonesia

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