Summer on Sanibel is really quiet. At 10:30, I'll have the beach practically to myself. The dark green of a tree lined path, large flat leaves and golden sea grapes, sends a light shower of sunlight when the breeze breaks the canopy. A few years after Hurricane Charlie, the vegetation seems to have filled back in. The trees tall enough to provide shade again. The subtropics always at work.
A voice echos from somewhere inside a nearby complex of condos. The dark green thick tapers into a worn carpet of sea grass, then baked sand. Beach, Gulf and sky all sort of bleached like they've been left out on the wash line too long. The water, with its underscape of meandering sandbars, varies in color from jade to watercolor green-grays. In July it's as warm as bath water. By early September, it will be jacuzzi-like. It suits me just fine though--never that shudder and clench of teeth when cold water reaches sensitive areas like stomach and small of back. Out on the sandbar that cushions the length of island's south shore, the water laps at my knees. I can float, my hands groping the soft sand, sending sand dollars floating up momentarily before they settle back into the sea floor.
The humidity of mid summer creates huge cumulus clouds that begin the day high overhead and gradually sink as the afternoon wears on until they appear to grow from the horizon. It's as if they're sponges, gradually weighted down with rain, and then just around 4 when I start to imagine an impending white tile shower and white wine happy hour, the wind picks up and sends the now purple-charcoal clouds flying over you, creating shadows in the surf reminiscent of Jules Verne-sized sea creatures. Over Naples I see lightening, and echoing thunder bounces around the domed sky--now urgent and sudden, now distant and chuckling. There's no hurry--I always make it back in before the rain.