My Kingdom for a Coconut
My buddy Scott and I spent a week in Tahiti, Bora Bora to be exact, back in the 1980's. A dirt road, some twelve miles long, follows the beach line around Bora Bora. At that time (it's probably different now) the road quickly left the settled area of hotels and dove into island wilderness, an occasional lonely hut in sight, the palm-lined shore hundreds of yards away. Laboring to pedal my clumsy rented bike, I quickly became desperately thirsty. Here's how went my internal dialogue:
"I would love some coconut milk! There's coconuts on the ground, free for the taking! Think about how yummy they are!"
"But they are impossible to crack without a machete."
"Big deal. You could just walk a ways down to a hut and ask someone to crack a coconut for you."
"But I can't do that! It's too far. I might trip and fall on dead coconuts."
"Nah. You're just making excuses. You are lazy and don't want to do this little thing."
"You don't really expect me to ask a stranger, do you?"
"I want some coconut milk! I am thirsty! You are a chicken that won't even do me a tiny favor. You never take good care of me."
"Let's keep pedaling. We've got a ways to go. It is serious business, this ride all the way around the island."
"I AM THIRSTY. Don't you hear me, you lily-livered, pasty-face, whining coward?"
"Here I am. Tahiti is as close to paradise as earth gets. I am here for a limited time, only a week. What a waste of time and energy to fight myself in this way! I will let go of the problem. I am just going to wish for a coconut and that's that."
Having decided to let go of struggle, a wave of relief, a great emptiness, surrounded me. Within seconds, I had the surprise of my life. At the very next bend of the road, in the middle of nowhere, there it was--a tiny stand of tourist trinkets and yes! a bucket of chilled coconuts, complete with straws. The first of many miracles, strange coincidences, mysterious events that follow me every step of the way.