The adjustment, to a new space, for me can take a long time, longer than the length of a vacation, for instance. It wasn't until last night that I had the presence of mind to look up at the sky and notice the multitude of stars, the Milky Way — and the gift of a meteor.
And then this afternoon, I opted out of a group beach outing and instead took to the roads on my own, doing the odd things that I like to do when in a new landscape: mostly a lot of nothing, looking in windows, wandering through grocery stores, assessing the trinkets (mostly made in China) at the street markets. All at my pace, according to my whims. A necessary time-out, a breather, a respite from the non-stop pace of the house where I'm a guest.
It's been a most unusual week here in Maui. The scene has been very much like what I'd imagine a commune would be, lots of people, a single bathroom. Shared kitchen. Tents scattered here and there on the grounds. Few doors. Even less privacy. But nonetheless, the youthful majority here has been polite, kind, high-spirited, prone to spontaneous laughter.
The 30-or-so years separating me and most of them has proved to be dramatic. After 50, we prefer more sleep, more quiet, more privacy. I'm loathe to admit to the petty, fussy preferences of an older generation, but the fact of them is too obvious to ignore. I'm older, and I've become fussy.
Ouch. Can't believe I just wrote that.
But I've been here long enough to begin to look outside of my needs for comfort, and walked the grounds this afternoon with an eye for textures / patterns. I found them in the turtle's back, in the bark of the banana tree, in the intricate leaf patterns of palms, in the stripes of a variegated bamboo — until the battery on my camera died, and I was forced to give it a break.
So much for careful attention!
And tonight I'm armed with earplugs, desperate for a decent night's sleep.