Characters: Fred, Chris, Alane, renovators; Riviera, yoga teacher
Watching Fred, Chris, and Alane rip up the shag carpet, I glowed with a new sense of ownership. Prana is becoming mine, the first step toward creating an ambiance of peace and harmony. In spite of the commotion inside the vessel, buzzing very close to me caught my attention. I swirled around, fearing a bumble bee was about to strike. There, six inches from my nose, was a ruby-throated hummingbird. Eye-to-eye he chastised me for failing to hang feeders. Where did he come from? Prana is moored 30 yards from a hill of scrub cedar trees. No flowers are in sight.
“Thanks for the reminder. I will drive into town, buy two feeders, and fill them with nectar (one cup of sugar into three cups of water). They will hang on the roof over the bow, one, starboard and the other, port side,” I promised, hoping no one overheard me talking to a hummingbird. At home, seven feeders decorated my backyard deck. The charm of hummingbirds entertained my friends and me with an aerial circus, dive bombing, twittering as they flew figure eights around each other, and jousting for exclusive rights to the feeders. From the end of April through the middle of November, their antics entranced me, melting away concerns of a busy work day.
Relieved that I could divert my attention to shopping rather than witnessing the destruction of Prana’s flooring, I headed for the tram to transport me from shoreline to the parking lot on the hill. Outside of the marina’s office, a young woman with a black braid decorating her back almost to her waist, was tacking a notice on the bulletin board, “Yoga for finding tranquility and your spirit guide.”
“That sounds interesting,” I remarked. She turned to face me, smiling, surrounded by an aura of mystery. Dressed simply in dark blue nylon shorts, a red tank top, and Teva sandals, I could picture her in a fringed deer-skin shift decorated with elk teeth. She replied, “Café Bleu’s owner gave me permission to lead yoga classes at the far end of the restaurant, generally reserved for live bands and dancing. Hi, I’m Riviera. You’re welcome to come. The more, the better.” Her enthusiasm was contagious. “This is an out-of-the way place. Several of the restaurant’s servers and their friends have signed up. We’re starting tomorrow at 10 am, before the lunch crowd invades. No, I shouldn’t say that. I’m hoping that the mettle of Lake Travis, fed by the Colorado River, will draw people in. There is powerful history here that is overshadowed by skiing, fishing, jet skis, bass boats, and other water sports. There is much more here than recreation and I want to give others a chance to discover what I have.”
“I’d love to come. Your invitation mentioned ‘spirit guide.’ What do you mean by that?”
“Come tomorrow and find out. You won’t be disappointed.”
When I returned to Prana, the living room floor was bare wood. There were water stains along the edges, beneath the windows. Fred had assured me he would replace them before installing bamboo flooring. After I filled and hung the feeders, I sat on the bow of the boat, waiting. Within thirty minutes, the hummingbirds appeared, sucking up the nectar and frolicking in the airspace surrounding the houseboat. I felt at home with family. How could that be?