Dry docked

For the fourth straight night, the sun was setting at exactly 6:47pm. It would start dipping toward the horizon slowly, then slip below the waterline as if being cranked by some plebian sun god servant. There was an exact moment when you knew the sun had set. It was usually marked by someone in the vicinity saying, “There it goes.”

Shortly after the nightly “there it goes,” my wife made a similarly obvious declaration.

Stirring a plastic cup of gingerale, she looked into nothing and said, “Life is too short to not live like this.”

It’s something that most people on vacation usually think. However, after sitting in silence for a few minutes, we quietly agreed that life was, indeed, too short. More importantly, we needed to find a way to live like that.

The island of Aruba is a beautiful one. It is not lush and full of rain forests. It is a desert with one medium-sized city and a few poor barios. The back side of the island is unpaved and only suitable for 4×4 vehicles. Wild dogs roam, shade themselves under giant rocks, and will utter frightening barks when startled (note: even upon the suggestion of your wife, do not jump up on big rocks without first checking under them).

That may sound uninviting, but it is not. The water is blue and clear. The days are warm, but breezy. The palm trees provide welcome shade. The nights are warm, as well. The island sits less than 20 miles off the coast of Venezuela. Beautiful latin women with intoxicating accents fill the beaches, chirping at their children, and taking care of their equally beautiful men.

I would not–as some we met had–move to Aruba. Despite its oil refinery and large capital city, it is still basically a third world country. However, I will go back. It was too nice not to.

But as life is too short not to live like that, I think I will search for ways to live in such peace. I may be able to do that from home.

Now, I’m back to eating lunch at my desk. Even if my office had windows, the would not look out to sea. When I’m finished eating, there will not be time for an afternoon nap or exhilarating walk on the beach. There is work to be done.

I don’t mind working for a living. I was raised to do as such. However, the practice if living for work may soon fall by the wayside.

Now I need to call the airline. It delivered my luggage intact. However, I think the airport crew forgot to load my head. It’s still sitting somewhere in Aruba, undoubtedly sipping on a drink and getting ready for 6:47.

Brad Willis

Brad Willis is a writer based in Greenville, South Carolina. Willis spent a decade as an award-winning broadcast journalist. He has worked as a freelance writer, columnist, and professional blogger since 2005. He has also served as a commentator and guest on a wide variety of television, radio, and internet shows.

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