Home » Blog » Blog post: “Travel diary part 5”

Blog post: “Travel diary part 5”

Part 5

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I have done some philosophizing on plant life of late. Well, there is not much else to do when you spend the bulk of the day on a sunbed contemplating whatever falls into your head.

Like palm trees. They are all over the place here, some local and some planted by some well-meaning person wanting to spice things up. Normal trees have a trunk and branches and twigs and they have leaves on them, like a large version of our blood vessels and another sign that all life on this planet really is connected in a way. I recently finished a fantasy book about magic in our real world which takes a very sensible form in just that, that everything is connected in some ways and has a way they want to be. Anyway, I was talking about palm trees.

They have just the one big trunk and then the big poof of leaves up top, different leaves for different kinds of palm trees. And it just hit me today that yes, what makes palm trees special is that they grow their leaves straight out of the trunk and the pockmarks you can see on a palm trees trunk is the scars you see on normal trees, from when a leaf falls off. I noticed when we took the bus down here from the airport these palm trees where the leaves have not been trimmed and you could see it clear as day, the dead leaves all the way up the tall trunk until the top of it, the only place where the palm leaves were still green and alive.

It makes me wonder about the whole trimming of the dead leaves. How does it work in places where there are no humans to trim the leaves when they die, do normal palm trees, out in nature look like those sad airport trees or do the palm trees normally lose their leaves eventually and if there is a lag it just means that these trees are not normally common in this location and they are lagging behind evolutionary, like our oak trees, evolved for more Mediterranean climates, so up north they have not quite got the hang of shifting colors and losing their leaves in the autumn.

Yes, the things one ponders when there is nothing to occupy the mind except existing. I suppose that is one fault with my mind, how overactive it is at times, though I can come to rather fun and interesting conclusions. Perhaps I am merely doing what other scientists have done, that perhaps they also had these sorts of revelations in their leisure time. Maybe that is why some of them barely slept for long. I imagine their minds, their brains eternally churning, and reaching the end of their sessions, reaching the answers to their ponderings when their bodies are at rest.

I think this place is good for me, this absolute rest I am getting, my mind working in ways it didn’t do when I was home, in the cold and in the normal routines. Though I miss some things, like my own bed and my cat and my books and the safe, snug corner on my couch for reading or just watching something on TV, I do not miss the cold and the rain and the darkness. If I could pack up the warmth and the sun along with the fun snacks and foods I have had here I would. Especially now that it seems we will not have much snow at all this winter, the weather stuck in some perpetual November greyness.

But by gods, I do think I will miss this view, gazing out the windows and see the grey slate roofed bungalows, stretching out into the distance, the palm trees poking out in regular patterns, then the tall hotels close to the water front, then the ocean, the mighty Atlantic.

The thing Ishmael goes on about in Loomings, about how the ocean seems to attract people felt especially true last night, when on a walk back to the hotel we got so turned around that we ended up right by the raised walkway that follow the beach, the little beach side shops and restaurant glittering below us, music coming from some club or other, echoing in the night. The moon has started to recede now, but it is just as beautiful reflected in the water.


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