I found myself with extra time on my hands yesterday afternoon when I arrived at Crazy Canuck’s where Rose was involved in another art class with Melody. The “Splash ‘n Paint” class had more than an hour to go, so I had time to kill.
Killing time, doing nothing, isn’t something that I do very well yet, even after three months here on Ambergris Caye in Belize.
I tried to kill some time bicycling down to Canuck’s, a legendary beach bar filled with legendary-looking ex-pats who were well into their Belikins by late afternoon.
I stopped at Annie’s and bought a coconut tart, which I took to one of the shop’s outside tables to eat.
I jumped right up. What was I thinking, I thought,as the constant stream of golf carts, taxis and high school students flowed by, inches from my table.
I pedaled one block east to the deserted beach and sat on a pier facing another legendary bar, Wet Willy’s.
San Pedro beach bars are like jazz musicians. If they last more than 10 years, they automatically get the title “legendary.” Crazy Canuck’s and Wet Willy’s qualify.
I nibbled at that coconut morsel, as water lapped at my toes. A perfect combination, like a dry white wine with fish.
Then I took the empty Annie’s sack and filled it with fine white sand.
Eccentric looking? Probably.
A sand hoarder? Naw.
This just happened to be the perfect sand that I needed for a fish bowl display back home. They will never miss it.
So, that took maybe all of 15 minutes out of my day.
I decided to stay on the beach for the rest of the ride south. The waterfront route is most irregular — filled with short beaches, seawalls of varying size and depth, a construction detour and lots of people just walking in the sand, cruising for a beachfront bar or bistro or shopping at the many Mayan craft stands.
High tide kind of narrows you options, too, but this being the start of “low season” beach traffic wasn’t bad.
As I said, I got to Canuck’s way too early.
Rose was concentrating intently on getting the beak on the bird in her composition just right.
So I grabbed a Belikin, nodded respectfully to the grizzled legends well-bellied up to the bar and strode next door to the Exotic Caye Beach Resort where a lounge chair on the beach just seemed to have my name on it. Actually, they all could have had my name. Such a gorgeous afternoon and not a single chair was taken.
I pulled out my Kindle, adjusted the screen for the late afternoon light and settled in to read about Elizabeth Warren’s financially precarious Oklahoma childhood. Just the wrong place to be reading about a kid whose parents struggled from job to job and paycheck to paycheck to carve out a living.
Twenty minutes into the senator’s childhood and I heard a familiar beep. Of course, the Kindle’s battery was about to go toes up. My Belikin was already as empty as a Wall Street mogul’s soul.
That’s when I began to learn the art of sitting back, living in the moment and doing just nothing at all.
I watched some seabirds engaged in aerial combat over a fish fillet. I analyzed cloud formations and tried to discern their hidden messages. I smiled and shook my head no to the several tiny children hawking beaded necklaces.
I began to feel as if I were a lyric in a Jimmy Buffett song.
I felt the gentle warm breeze flowing in from the not- too-distant barrier reef. I imagined I could see over the horizon, directly into Cuba. I inhaled the fresh ocean air. I heeded the lessons of yoga and let myself go as if in child’s pose.
And I began to think, “Yeah. I can do this.”