I was awake before I could see anything. I remember this because I remember listening to the warm water gently lapping itself against the tall wooden pillars propping the bungalow. When I did opened my eyes the first thing that I could see were beautiful white sheer curtains. The rhythm of the waves lulled me out of sleep like a song. A slither of sunlight lay across the bed and I let my hand slip into, as if I was placing in water to test the temperature. It was warm, but there was no glass in the windows of the bungalow so it had not become uncomfortable, instead it appeared to be just right for the time of the year. I sighed and smiled to myself and lay back, feeling my legs stretch out down to the bottom of the bed. I’d made sure that I hadn’t set an alarm, and I didn’t have my phone anywhere near me. I wasn’t sure what time it was, but judging by the angle of the light I’d assumed that it must be around eight in the morning. I felt awake inside, but still a little bit drowsy; the perfect mood to wake up in if you ask me. I couldn’t help but feel proud of myself. It was my first morning and I’d already woken up at a good time. Clearly jet-lag wasn’t going to play around with me on this trip. I’d already gotten over it. It didn’t feel as if things could be going any more right than they were in that moment.
All I could imagine at this point is what amazing adventures were being planned for the day. I tried my best not to think to hard in case I spoiled the mood in side of myself, but I new that I couldn’t simply lie around here all day, as much as that might have seemed like a good idea at the time. I eased myself out of bed, got dressed in light clothes and stepped out onto the wooden decking around the bungalow. The ocean stretched out as far as I could see. All around me was blue and green, and the dappled light of the morning. The water was clear and as I looked out I could just see small fish and other kinds of sea life swimming around in it. I breathed more freely than I had for months, although I admit that I had to resist the urge to go and dive head first into the water. Perhaps there would be time of this later, I thought. Now I simply wanted to sit down on one of the chairs on the decking and stretch my feet out. As I looked across the ocean I felt an intense mood of inner peace and tranquility. For the first time in months, I didn’t feel as if I had anything that I needed to think about and I could finally simply relax and be in the moment. The sun was still riding low in the sky and there was still the fainest streaks of red on the horizon from the sunrise. I don’t think that I have felt as if time was passing in a more relaxed manner
As I sat there, finding myself in awe as if I could actually become one with the ocean and I heard the first noise of the day. It was the sound of an out-board motor cutting across the waves and I suddenly remembered my stomach because I knew that this it could only mean one thing: breakfast. As scheduled, a local ship arrived with an assortment of options that had been made early that morning while I still asleep and dreaming, six feet above the ocean. I said hello to the man as he approached my on the boat and he smiled right back at me in a way that made me feel completely at home and completely welcome where I was. He presented me with a small menu and waited patiently for to make up my mind about what I wanted to eat. I could already smell the foods that he was carrying and I inched forward. In those moments it really did feel as if every thing that I saw was being presented for my own enjoyment.
I was presented with freshly squeezed orange juice made that morning, hot coffee and slightly toasted whole wheat bread with a perfectly sliced square of butter melting in the center of it. Even now when I think about it my mouth waters slightly. I took my first bite and tried to be as slow as possible and to savor everything that I possibly could. I knew that I would only ever have one first morning here and that I wanted to make it last for as long as possible. After I had eaten my toast I was given an omelet and an ice cooler. I laughed out of excitement because I had not been expecting this, but the man serving the food simply smiled and winked at me, as if this the reaction that everyone had when they were first confronted with the abundance of where I was. Inside the cooler was an entire bottle of champagne, unopened and nestling against fresh ice cubes. The man also handed a fresh, sparkling glass and let me put them both down while I finished my toast.
I uncorked the bottle of champagne and poured it into the glass. I insisted that the man who served me took at least a sip, and he smiled but he explained that if he did that with everyone who offered it to him then he would be drunk by half past nine. I laughed, because of course that was true, and I drank a long sip. The bubbles coated my throat and made me sit upright for a second. The champagne was sweet and dry and it certainly a had kick to it. I put the glass down and started work on the omelet. It was cooked to perfection, full of cheese and vegetables and as yellow as the most ripe bananas. Once he knew that that I had everything that In needed, the man left me alone, and wished me a good day. I could feel the food inside me. It was substantial but also light and energizing, and I knew that I had a memorable day in store for me. As the man who had served me breakfast left he shouted back at me that the boat for the mainland would be along in forty minutes and that I should think about what I wanted to do with my day.
Right then, as I lay there and sipped on the rest of my still cold-champagne, I remember thinking that I could honestly think of nowhere that I’d rather be. Indeed, after dozing for another ten minutes, it felt a real, but of course hugely pleasant, effort to peel myself out of the chair and to head back inside the bungalow so that I could take a shower and get ready for the day. After I’d done this, I sat back down in the chair with the intention of reading, but simply watched the ocean for half an hours, imagining myself floating up and down on the waves. It was with genuine mixture of sadness and almost uncontainable excitement that I heard the noise of the boat approaching again. This time it was the sound of the water-taxi that would take me to the mainland and to the wonders of the city. I yawned, stretched and smiled to myself as I realized that, whether I liked it or not, the first part of my first morning in paradise was over and that my day was finally about to begin in earnest.