Life lessons from an iguana
I’m loving being back in Puerto Escondido and really enjoying the month of September. It’s wilder and greener with more butterflies, bigger surf and fewer people. The view from my writing perch is stellar. But, at first, I wasn’t too sure about my new companion — a black iguana.
He showed up my first day back and has joined me for morning coffee ever since. He slinks along the balcony ledge to a sunny spot, stretches his 2-foot long body to soak up the maximum amount of rays and basically stays there. According to the website Iguanas 101, this is good. “A confident iguana enjoys life and observe everything around them in a calm and relaxed manner.”
“I thought he was a statue,” said David, the curtain installer who joined us one morning. “He’s muy tranquilo.”
That’s because he hasn’t made him angry. I have. If I type too loudly or clatter a spoon in my coffee, the iguana puffs himself up to full size, begins bobbing his head and sweeps his tail back and forth. This means he’s “ready to attack and you should move out of range.”
Tail-whipping is my cue to run indoors.
Overall, my iguana companion is content, basking with infinite patience in the sun, calmly observing birds overhead or a fly on the wall. In ancient Egypt and Greek symbolism, lizards represented divine wisdom and good fortune. Although also revered by the ancient Maya, the iguanas of the modern world aren’t thriving. They’re impacted by destruction of their natural habitat and hunting for the pet trade and food.
I’m inclined to live in harmony with my iguana pal. His tail-thumping is a reminder not to work too hard. It’s my signal to put away the computer and to bask in the pleasures of sun and nature’s seasons. After all, we are in Mexico.