The Old Man
I have heard the old folks refer to the mountain as the Old Man and say that when he takes his hat off the night will be cold. When there is no clouds, and no haze, the air becomes crisp and there is a slight chill as the wind comes down from a high blue sky. In these conditions the horizon becomes very clear, like it is the edge of the world that is just within our reach. The other islands seem to come a bit closer, too, like gathering friends.
Looking to the mountain I see clearly the frayed fronds of the faraway palms and giant ferns in a jagged relief of green against the sky. The mountain seems unreal in its improbable perfection, like the backdrop of a Hollywood set. But, in just one minute, the sky changes; the mountain is lost. Clouds come lower, past palm trees, and surround the house. With this comes the smell of the earth, the smell of iron and vegetation. The horizon is gone and the rain comes loudly down.
Just as suddenly, it is over. The deafening sound of hard rain on the galvanized roof stops. Long arms of sunlight break through the clouds, the Old Man returns to stand above us. The thinning storm clouds that hid him turn to dragon shaped wisps. My children run to me, soaking wet but excited to have been caught in the rain. I tell them the Old Man played a trick on them, watch out when he changes his hat.
Come and join me in keeping the Old Man company.