December 2, 2011

palm-tree-lit The first time I saw patio lights shining up at palm tree branches was in 1978, when I took my first “real vaction” via commercial airline flight to Orlando with my young cousin Greg and my friend Les Greenleaf.

[Ed. note: People these days would find it hard to believe that it took me 23 years before I flew for the first time, but that’s how it used to be. Airport terminals in those days weren’t faux shopping malls / daycare centers filled with babies crying and kids running unattended all over the place. Air travel then was an experience, even a privilege, it wasn’t some mundane, dehumanizing, everyday occurrence like it is these days; it meant something to travel by air. But enough of old fogey-ness…]

I remember us getting to our hotel after it was dark and Greg and Les retiring for the night. But I wanted – actually, needed – to walk; I was on vacation, in an exotic place, and I wanted to make the most of that experience. To this day, I can remember walking outside the hotel, breathing in the humid air, marveling at the lights shining upwards at the palm trees – real palm trees! – rusting in the Florida breeze. I took a walk down the thoroughfare outside the hotel and saw the same thing rows of palm trees lining the street, their branches all bathed in a soft yellow light. It just stuck in my mind – the humidity, the street lights, the palm tree branches aglow in the dark. I was hooked – forever.

After that, whgenever I was on vacation it was a sight I would always seek out. On our first stay in Las Vegas at The Mirage, I loved walking along the driveway and seeing palm branches aglow from the lights shinging up at them. Or any of the resorts we stayed at: in Bermuda, at Grotto Bay Beach and White Sands (now gone), or St. Kitts at Jack Tar Village (ditto), or in Hawaii at the Kahala Mandarin Oriental; I loved feeling the breeze at night and looking up at palm tree branches illuminated against the night sky. Magical.

Now we have that in our own backyard. Coutesy of the good folks at Hawkeye Landscaping, we have patio lights outlining our backyard vegetation and spotlights illuminating our palm trees from below. Can’t take a picture of it – we don’t have the proper equipment – but it looks nice. The reflection of the palm trees on the pool water is incredibly beautiful and calming. The soft lighting complements the brightness of the patio and the tiki bar. More than that, seeing the palm branches in the light reminds me of all the faraway places I’ve been privileged to visit, and a time when I was younger and it was all so new and exciting to behold.

Tonight there’s a cool breeze outside, but to see our palm trees gently swaying in the light is a joy, hopefully not just for us but for our neighbors as well. It’s all just a dream, really: how and why we’re here I gave up contemplating a long time ago. At this point in my life, it’s enough to relax after a hard, stressful day at work with glass of wine or a Johnny Walker Red on our Caribbean patio and just look at the lights and the palm trees. That’s enough for me.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 00:27 | Comments Off on Dreamy
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