Wonder 45


Early mornings are my favorite time. That mockingbird sings. The air smells like salt, or if it’s a low tide, it smells like sulfur and seaweed, which, strange enough, is a scent I’ve come to love.

When I wake, my thoughts are slow and clear. Things make sense to me–later in the day, I might review these same thoughts, and I won’t see the meaning I found before the dawn, but in the early morning, my insights resonate within me.

Because of this, this is my writing time. When I’m lucky, I can draft a chapter or two before I catch the morning ferry.


The research project manager was already analyzing test results when I arrived. I was assigned to help him.


“See if you can isolate the acidic proteinbound polysaccharide from this reishi, alright, Cups?” he directed me.

“Right. APBP. Are we trying it on herpes simplex virus?”

“No,” he said. “Been done. We’re looking to see if it’s effective against varicella zoster.”


“A cure for shingles?”

“We don’t call it a cure yet,” he said. “We’re just looking for possible causality between reduction in viral colony and presence of ABPB. Don’t jump ahead. Don’t go spreading rumors. Everything in its time.”


Still, to think this might reduce suffering from shingles. Meu avô had shingles outbursts in his later years. I would give almost anything to spare others from that pain.

Thank you, I whispered.


On my afternoon rounds, I visited clients with the usual cases of common colds and flu. I still feel amazed at how quickly they recover once they take the dose of remedy.


The red-headed waitress I’d met at the diner a few days ago was there.

As she was leaving, she said, “You know, nice doctor like you. We should get together some time!”

“I’m not a doctor yet,” I told her.

“Well, if you want to pretend, anytime,” she said, “you’ve got my number.”

I’m still trying to figure out what she meant by that. But it was good to see that she felt well enough to joke.


When I got back to the island, I jogged out to the bluff, just in time for sunset.


Somewhere growing up, I heard that life is tough.

But how can that be? We live on a planet that gives us all we need: air, food, water, beauty, medicine.


It isn’t life that’s tough. People are tough, maybe, when they fight with what life’s offering. But life? Life is a gift that never stops giving.


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