It’s been raining off and on for three days. I hear the rain on my metal roof and wonder what it’s doing to the white-painted rocker on my porch. The river will rise, and the weeping willow towering over the creek behind the house will shake her branches and send a cascade of water over the field.
In the morning, I’ll walk down the road to get today’s mail. I’ll raise my head and take in the fragrance of the San Joaquin. The river has its own special smell. It isn’t the ocean. It doesn’t send a call to me. It simmers against its banks, quiet and timeless. When I drive the winding levee road, I get no sense of comfort from the river as I do on the road above the sea. But it has its own existence and I understand that it has seen delta dwellers come and go over time.
I seem to be the kind of person who feels at home alone in a small space. The silence of this dwelling yields only to the occasional ring of the telephone, the whirring of the electric furnace, and the patter of rain on the roof. I don’t mind being that kind of person; the kind who does not need more than fits within the confines of these four walls.
Still I reach out. I joined two writers groups today, and spent a pleasant half hour talking back and forth by text with my friend Jeanne Foster in Kansas City. Considering we have wildly different political views, we agree on a lot about the world. I talked to my son, too, about vitamin C and cough pearls, of which I’d never before heard. I spent a half hour copying blog entries and emailed them to Mary Pettet to start her work for our collaborative creation. It feels right, all of a sudden, to be here, to be doing this, and to be moving in the direction that I’ve chosen.
There will be days when it doesn’t. But my skin fits today. I’m grateful for that.
It’s evening on the fifth day of the forty-ninth month of My Year Without Complaining. Life continues.