Since the early eighties, we’ve called Walt Disney World’s Polynesian Village, our ‘home away from home.’ We always stay in the same building; lagoon view, with a room facing the Magic Kingdom and a patio that spills onto the plush green lawn strip that leads to the sandy beach and the dark blue waters of the lagoon. Our grandchildren (like their parents before them) delight in running out of the room towards the beach, at all hours of the day and night.
Each morning, in particular though, their squeals of laughter join a soothing cacophony that underscores for me, the special peace I feel when I am here. Let me set the scene:
The sand-rakers have been out early, combing away the sandy footprints left the night before by the festive firework watchers. The pattern that remains after raking, is perfectly linear and well-defined with lovely mini-trenches, waiting to be disturbed by toddler footprints. As most families are waking to a lovely sunrise and planning the day’s activities, families of Canada geese, waddling ducks and their ducklings, and snowy white egrets emerge from the shrubs and the watery marshes, swooping in to stake their claim.
To others, their footprints may seem to mar the orderly, carved lines created by the rake-mobile. But to me, they symbolize not only constancy and predictability, but also the inescapable notion of forward progress. Every day, despite serious challenges facing our beloved planet, this insistent forward surge of life continues, whether we are there to witness it or not. So when we are there, even after all these years, we tentatively and carefully tread into their habitat; hoping to share this fleeting moment with our fine feathered friends.