We’re in Nassau taking a much-needed vacation away from all accountabilities. I’m unabashedly hiding. There are “islands” in the various pools at the resort, with plants and palm trees on them.
I’m reminded of a vacation we took somewhere in Mexico where there were a dozen or more iguanas on every island, which were surrounded completely by water. I’d occasionally swim up to one, which would regard me with those independently moving eyes, sort of like the air conditioning vents overhead on older planes. But most were in the palm trees, dozing on branches and absorbing warmth.
“Is there enough food to feed them all on the islands?” I asked the pool attendant. “Oh, no,” he said, “they’re fed in the late afternoon over there” and he pointed to a spot about a hundred yards away on the lawn.
“How do you get them there?” I asked. “We don’t, they know when to go.” “You mean,” I stuttered, “they crawl in and swim across the pool while people are in it??!!” “No,” he said, “most of them just drop off the branches.”
And so, incredibly, an eight-pound lizard (I looked this up) dropped like some kind of meteorite about 15 feet amidst the (mostly) unaware guests. I stayed to watch this and I can only compare it to carpet bombing by the Air Force.
Black swans. Tree-dropping iguanas.
The unexpected happens. Perhaps we might be in for a society without polarization, without senseless violence, without hating those with whom we disagree. It would take an Annus Mirabilis. And we’d have to be as smart as birds and reptiles.
Peace is not absence of conflict, it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means. —Ronald Reagan