I rise each morning with hobbled knees, cramped feet, and rubber legs. I draw a breath of the sweet Delta air and give thanks. Whether to the universe, a divine being, or the persistence of my own good luck, I offer more than one mumbled phrase as I boil the water and seep the grounds.
On my front porch, in pajamas, robe, and slippers, I lift my face to the tender rays of sunlight. I strain to follow the trill and warble of birds flitting from branch to bough in the meadow.
On the drive to town, I slow to watch the broad pan of hawks across the pale sky. Along the empty highway, egrets pick their way through a stubbly field. The river runs beneath the bridge and drifts toward the sea. A small boat rises and falls with its constant current.
Reversing course in the afternoon, I pass a flock of sheep gathered near the levee, shorn of their winter coats. Then I brake. I slowly lift my camera, one eye on the side view mirror, the other squinting overhead. I nearly make the shot. Close enough, I deem; slightly blurred, but nonetheless a testament, documentary evidence of my most opportune timing. Like the awestruck object of Jenny’s sudden kiss, I demand my tribute: I once lingered here; and in the moment, I saw this sight; and I will be forever changed.
It’s the twenty-seventh day of the seventy-sixth month of My Year Without Complaining. Life continues.