Each morning I wake at about 6:00 AM. No alarms, no one shoving me out of bed. I am eager to get downstairs, make coffee, and sit on the patio enjoying the peaceful serenity of a Merida morning.
There is nothing in the world I love more than a Merida morning. I sit with my coffee and computer, checking reservations for our B&B, catching up on overnight news. I pause as Marlon Brando, the neighbor’s white feline, whom a guest named Marlon Brando because of his ragged-looking face often torn up by all the fights he seems to get into, gingerly makes his way along the top of our property-line wall, a feat requiring no small amount of dexterity due to the many, broken bottles cemented into the top of the wall to keep “intruders” out of our neighbor’s yard. But Marlon is no intruder, just a local citizen looking for a challenge, or maybe an enticing bag of trash someone forgot to put inside a trash can.
Marlon Brando’s visit makes me think of another denizen of the neighborhood: a large, silver and green iguana who lives on the opposite side of our property. I always hope he will come by to sit on our wall in the sun, or sit on his perch on the top of our casita, or even brave our scary yard for a chance to sip from our pool. But with all the activity at our B&B in the late mornings, he seldom comes around, so it is a rare treat to see him up close, like today. This morning I spot him sitting on a tree limb in the next yard, just next to the Balam room. In the afternoons we often see him taking in some rays on a high branch of a tree. The last time he was in the yard I grabbed the camera and made a video for our Facebook page of him trying to scurry away from me, finally running to the back and up the wall to safety.
My mind returns to the present. The pool is quiet; no pump shooting water through the filters and back out the two Ticul-stone cannons and into the pool with a constant splashing – only a gentle ripple now and then after a leaf slowly floats from the trees above to the calm, still water.
Suddenly there is a loud screeching of birds, and I know that the green parrots that live in the area have arrived for their morning visit. About a dozen of them flock from limb to limb, screaming to each other with a sound that affects me like fingernails on a chalkboard. But joining them this morning - but keeping her distance - is a black-as-night turkey vulture. Scoping out its next meal, perhaps? The parrots keep their distance as well, and screech louder and more forceful than usual.
Then, as suddenly as it began, it is quiet again, and the sense of calm is even more profound than before. I mentally check off my tasks for the day: make breakfast, clean rooms, fill that crack in the rear wall. I pick up my empty cup and computer and start to make my way back inside, turning off the dim lights left on overnight for the guests to make their way to their rooms after late-night dinner or clubbing. I notice the leaves on the walkway and mentally add “sweep the walk” to my task list. Time to make breakfast, and greet another great day in Merida.