Like many Kaua‘i residents, long ago I abandoned hope of getting a good night’s sleep here.
The human body’s remarkable capability to adapt to its environment has at least facilitated for me a decent slumber most of the week. The rampant roosters’ crowing rarely awakens me anymore, for instance.
But I’m still not desensitized to the caterwauling and canine cacophony that serves as my wake-up call more mornings than not.
When the animals bless me with a vow of silence for a day, without fail their noisy nuisance is replaced by weed whackers and workers hollering at the break of dawn.
As such, I’ve come to relish evening storms that linger into the next day. The showers send the cats and cocks into hiding. Thunder claps drown out the chorus of dogs barking in cages. Lightning strikes cancel landscaping jobs and roof replacements.
Then there are those few priceless moments as the system leaves our radar and all is still.
The dark clouds drift away, pulling back the curtain on rain-soaked mountains. The hibiscus flowers perk up as they drip dry. Slits of blue sky poke through the gray.
I steep another pot of tea and peruse the morning paper. Still threatening outside, there’s no obligation to rush to the beach or hurry to the trailhead.
I embrace the dreariness. Nature has provided a peaceful repose.
But the calm vacates as the sun dissipates its cover of clouds.
Hounds resume their howling. Children slip from their mothers’ grasp, racing outside to jump in puddles as they send their overseers into a scream-laden tizzy. Gas engines of yard work and road repair roar back to life.
And so the daytime hum returns.
Fortunately, those precious minutes of quietude often suffice to snap me out of my sleep-deprived funk. By that afternoon, I’ve forgotten about the morning aggravation. By evening, I’m settled into work. By midnight, I’m throttling my bike down the street back home, wearing the grin given to me by the crescent moon overhead.
Everything’s relative; I count my lucky stars to have landed at this point on the map. A Westside sunset or an Eastside surf session surely supplant any momentary exasperation.