Not long ago a green anole lizard came to visit. He limited his visit to the screened, back porch, where he seemed to be content snacking on a few insects that had found their way onto the porch as well.
He looks so big and ferocious in this photo but he was actually very cute and rather small. Here's another shot:
I love all of God's creatures (okay, not flies or fleas or mosquitoes or ticks or poisonous spiders, but all the rest,) and am particularly fond of green anole lizards.
Green anoles always remind me of a very cute boy named Alan, with whom a friendship and bit of a crush developed while on vacation at Ormond Beach, Florida one year with my family. I was thirteen. My friend Pam vacationed with us that year. The lifeguard at the beach was a gorgeous, seventeen year old boy with a deep tan, sun bleached hair and incredible blue eyes. Pam, who was much taller, looked much older and was very bold, decided that he should be our friend and so he was. We invited him to have lunch with us at our cottage and we made him PBJ sandwiches. He was extremely polite, well spoken and he obviously wasn't interested in us in that way, as he treated us like little sisters, so my parents were fond of him as well.
When our vacation came to an end and it was time to leave, Alan came to see us off. We were packed up and ready to head out and he showed up. We always vacationed at the same cottage, during the same two weeks in June, year after year and he assured us that he would be lifeguarding again the next year and would stop by and see us then. He would not send me away without a gift. He presented to me on his upturned palm, an incredibly tiny, green anole lizard. A lizard no more than an inch and a half long. I named him Alan there and then and I still remember exactly how he felt in my hand and how his tiny eyes and tiny toes looked. Sadly, I don't remember exactly what became of him. My guess is that we let him go in the garden once we were home...for my mom's sake.
As for Alan, the boy, I never saw him again and don't recall whether or not I was devastated that he was not waiting on the porch of the cottage as promised the next year. My guess is that my parents had already prepared me for a disappointment. A lot can happen in a year. Apparently, it was not too traumatic for me when he didn't show, because I realize now, that if not for Alan, the lizard, it is likely that I would not even remember the name of Alan, the boy.
I guess in the early 60's, in those still innocent days before "make love, not war" and similar campaigns, Alan, the lizard, actually, held much more fascination for a thirteen year old about to enter high school, than Alan, the Greek god-looking boy. As it turns out, I don't need a photo or even the appearance of a green anole on my porch, to remember those tiny, dark eyes and those cute, little toes that tickled as they scampered up my arm. But Alan, the boy, I barely remember him at all. I remember only what can be deciphered from an old and not so clear, photo of a darkly tanned boy in a lifeguard chair and a really skinny girl, wearing a two piece bathing suit, with a great tan, who is standing below, looking up. If one could move the camera in a bit, it's possible that you might see stars in her eyes.
When we are thirteen, every day is filled with drama. I feel certain that my drama for that day was imagining I was in love with this older boy and dreaming that someway, somehow, we would live happily ever after. Oh, the fairy tales that teenage hormones write! I know with some certainty that I must have been deeply in love. Not because I remember it, but because that is the way it is with thirteen year old girls and handsome older boys. That girl in the photo, would not have believed me at all, if I could have tapped her on the shoulder to tell her this truth: one day, this deeply dramatic and emotional moment, along with all other such moments of that two weeks, would fade into a fragile memory that would be lost forever, if not for an old photograph and the delightful memory of a tiny, green lizard!
Green anole lizards are my Fingerprint of God today. What's yours?