It's getting hotter now. We went to the beach yesterday. To get there we walk through the coconut grove. It's a large grove, planted almost like an orchard. Coconut trees don't give a lot of shade, and the ground is covered with a sand that is nearly dust. On hot days the coconut grove seems to go on forever.
No one wanted to wear shoes despite our warnings of hot sand. Even Chinua declined, believing, I suppose, that the soles of his feet are made of leather. We were fine on the way there. The sand hadn't heated up too much.
We swam, played in the sand, ate lunch at one of the beach shacks. A rest day. I'm religious about them now. I say no to visitors, get out of the house, stop cleaning for a while, don't plan meetings or anything. We have a full schedule. A beautiful schedule, but a full one. So one day of rest is important.
On the way home we started to walk on the edge of the coconut grove and quickly discovered that the sand was too hot to walk on. Only I had shoes. We stood at the edge of the vast grove and contemplated our choices.
"Okay. We'll follow this path first, run from shade to shade." The radical coconut hairstyles were casting frond shadows on the ground in spots. We did it, clumping from one spot of shade to the next. Then we ran to the sparse grass that is still in the grove in clumps. (After monsoon it's everywhere, then it gradually dries up and disappears, until only a bit is left.) We dodged trash and crows. Chinua used his Bear Grylls voice. We've been watching episodes of Man Vs. Wild.
"It's the heat that'll get you," he said. "You'll be roasted in seconds out here."
Halfway across, I discovered I'd left our steel water bottle. I trekked back to the restaurant to get it.
When I caught up with my family again, I couldn't help laughing. And laughing. How I love them.
They were sitting under the banyan tree (there is a single banyan tree in the coconut grove) constructing sandals for themselves with pieces of cardboard they'd found. They were tying the cardboard to their feet with dried coconut fronds. Cardboard shoes! Chinua's worked the best. YaYa managed to keep hers on until she was halfway home. Solo was carried. Kid A and Leafy declined shoes after Kid A's fell off. They ran home so fast that their feet only touched the ground for moments. They didn't even get a chance to burn.