I spend a lot of time alone in my tiny house or sitting on my porch. Whenever I leave, I take my little Canon with its broken lens cap. I try to keep my eyes wide open. I strive to see the Delta in its shimmering liveliness, to understand its contours and the rhythm of the natural life here.
The birds fascinate me. The other day, a large white creature flew across the road. Shaped like a hawk, with a massive wingspan, it seemed frantic. It swooped across Jackson Slough Road from a newly-plowed field to the low-lying shallow water of the slough. It rose back to the air and landed high in the bare branches of a dying tree. I saw its feathers fluttering in the wind. I didn’t have my camera with me, but I carry the mental image. Now I move down that roadway at a snail’s pace, Canon in hand, hoping for another sighting.
Even the crows somehow assume an air of grandeur in the Delta. In Kansas City, we honk our horns to scatter them. Here, they gracefully land on the high wires. They stroll down the narrow levee road. I skirt around them. I stop to photograph their effortless flight.
With all the turmoil in today’s world, I’ve taken to assuring myself of the pettiness of any complaint that I might otherwise articulate. But my soul still feels restless. My body still aches. These long Delta drives soothe me. When the sun sets on the far side of Mt. Diablo, I find myself at peace. I close my eyes and sleep.
It’s the seventh day of the seventy-eighth month of My Year Without Complaining. Life continues.