With singular grace that belies her age, she wraps around her weathered body, a grass skirt. After five decades, the emerald strands of raffia have faded to pale green. Still, the ties have not brittled, and her fingers, without too much difficulty, manage to knot them together. The coconut top though, is another matter, and she is thankful to be donning it without the audience of a mirror. She laughs at the thought of what her late husband would say to her-if he could only see. It takes some doing, but at length, she is able to maneuver the shellacked brown half shells into their proper places.
Now that she is aptly attired, she directs an admiring gaze towards her potted palm. Visually measuring it’s height against the 10 foot ceilings of the parlor, she marvels that the tree must be nearly 8 feet tall, and again she is thankful for this house and it’s soaring rooms. All those years ago. She is remembering her Honolulu honeymoon. Hawaii. A land of exotic beauty unlike any she had ever seen. Among the souvenirs she’d desired to have as mementoes of her visit-the hula ensemble, a carved wooden tiki, and a moderately expensive bottle of plumeria perfume-she’d also chosen the palm. Barely bigger, at the time, than the coconut from which it grew, it was a piece of the Islands she could take home with her. A fitting exchange for the piece of her heart she was leaving behind.
50 years ago.
Fifty years of longing for a place she was destined never to see again.
Her Victrola begins to serenade her with the first sweet strains of Aloha Oe, and she surrenders. Assuming a position in front of her beloved palm, she is lost in old memories of paradise. No longer does she feel the need to juggle past and present. Closing her eyes, still as blue as the Pacific Ocean, she starts to sway.
This week we’re honoring the genius of Dr. Suess, who was born on March 2, 1904. Our two Seussical offerings are an image and a line from one of his books. Happy writing!
“I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees. I speak for the trees for the trees have no tongues.”
Dr. Seuss, from The Lorax
JUGGLE (transitive verb)
1a : to practice deceit or trickery on : beguile
b : to manipulate or rearrange especially in order to achieve a desired end
2a : to toss in the manner of a juggler
b : to hold or balance precariously
3: to handle or deal with usually several things (as obligations) at one time so as to satisfy often competing requirements <juggle the responsibilities of family life and full-time job — Jane S. Gould>