Blowin’ in the Wind


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How many weeds can a woman pull
before you call her a woman?
How many days can a hatch of chayoles exist
before they are washed to the sea?
Yes, how many times must the coconuts fall
before they land on your head?
The answer my friend is blowin’ in the wind,
the answer is blowin’ in the wind.

My apologies to Bob Dylan for my horrible lyrics, yet this song has cycled through my head all day. I think it began when I was pulling weeds under one of our coconut trees. I am obsessed with clearing the jungle. In my fixation with the weeds, I neglected to consider my location on a windy day….under a 30 ft. tall coconut tree. Fortunately, I beat the odds, but the coconut landed uncomfortably close to my feet. I read that 150 people die a year from falling coconuts. My neighbor was hit by a falling coconut several years ago. She was rushed to the hospital with a concussion. She survived. It was too close for comfort, so I ran into the house to sweep out the mounds of chayoles ( little gnats) that carpeted my house after a giant hatch the night before.

The chayoles arrive at the beginning of the rainy season. They annoy the hell out of me for about three days, then they die. They don’t bite, but for three days, we eat chayoles, breathe chayoles, and sleep with chayoles because they are so miniscule that they can easily pass through our mosquito net. See my post, Sometimes Paradise is Hell: An Oxymoron Story

My deceased friend, Bobby, had a clever way to rid his house of chayoles. He bought an electric blower and blew the tiny suckers out of his house. So, last year, I returned from the states with a new electric blower. I was determined to blow the chayoles from every nook and cranny in my house. Believe me when I say those annoying little gnats get into every crack, too.

What a disaster! I didn’t realize the electric blower had different power speeds. I had it turned on hurricane force. Geckos were flying out of cracks in the walls. Toad lips were flapping like parachutes. Dust balls sailed over my ceiling fans, gathering speed, and twirling like a Tasmanian devil. The mountains of chayoles filled the air like a wind storm in the desert.

When I directed the hurricane force blower to my bookcase…that’s when I knew I made a big mistake. Bobby’s ashes were sitting in a small urn on the top shelf. They flew off the shelf like a convict fleeing for his life, the urn broke, and his ashes scattered in the wind. “Oh Bobby,” I cried. “I’m so sorry.” “What do I do now?” I wondered. I grabbed my whisk broom, swept Bobby up from the floor, and took him to the garden.

Bobby’s tortoise, Cuba, is hibernating in a dirt mound in our garden. I gently sprinkled Bobby’s ashes over Cuba’s mound, and told Bobby to wake up Cuba because the rainy season has begun and Cuba should be done with her long winter nap. I felt so guilty! How could I be so stupid?

Now, you may think I’m crazy, but I think Bobby communicates with me through the wind. When I returned to the house and turned on the blower, I heard Bobby say, “Hallelujah! Free, at last!” It could have been a piece of plastic flapping around inside my blower  or my imagination seeking forgiveness for blowing Bobby’s urn off the bookshelf. Either way, I laughed and the song Blowin’ in the Wind recycled through my brain once again.

The chayoles are gone until next year. Bobby is lovingly sprinkled in the garden…one of his favorite places, and I’ve taken a break from weeding under the coconut trees…for now.

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