A boy’s laughter tumbles up from the road. Great-tailed Grackles swoop by in bold quarrels. Mango and mahogany leaves rustle. A gecko’s sharp clicks whisk me back to Mexico, where I am not. I am in Belize, where a caressing breeze blows and the sea washes Caribbean sand.
Upon arrival, my senses come alive, spurred by what is not familiar—what is different from my California home. I ride a one-speed bike as far in each direction, south then north, as far the road is paved. A childish exploration and wonder returns. How soon will I stop noticing the gecko’s chirp? That hint of ocean mist I breath? The white-winged Dove’s blue eyeshadow?