. . . Hosanna
to the alligators in the highest:
Glory be to their Maker.
—Diana Woodcock, “In the Company of Alligators”
We have lived here now for a whole year. Our neighborhood—carved from the Everglades—has zero lot lines and circle-around ponds (also known as lakes) while Surinam cherry hedges provide a bit of privacy. Our patio sits only ten yards from the water’s edge—in dry weather. This home in South Florida is much different from the family farmhouse that sat on 60 acres in Michigan where we lived for a quarter of a century.
Before we moved, people warned us about alligators. They’d send videos of gators scaling fences or photos of them stretched upright next to a front door or hiding in a garage. It’s true: I always scan the garage for gators these days before I step out into it. I also watch for snakes and tap every box before I open it. Even the little lizards can leap out of nowhere and stop one’s heart.
The whole backside of our small stucco house, with its bay window and wide slider, provides a window on the water. I’d get a lot more done if I just closed the blinds, but I’d miss out on the daily drama and adventure right outside my door. Our neighbors said they’ve only seen one small alligator in the lake in the 22 years or so they’ve lived here.
Seriously. I’ve seen two floating out there in the last couple of months. Two alligators. Here a day and gone the next.
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