In mid-afternoon, I sat in my rocker on the porch of my tiny house. On the stool beside me, a small plate held slices of apple and a scoop of hummus. I understand that few find my particular dietary selections to be of interest. But such are the vagaries of the human condition; my nectar sours your stomach.
The sun glowed around me. I made a few phone calls, and sent a few messages. My list of obligations had slowly been whittled to a handful — a client teleconference, an explanatory e-mail, the review of another attorney’s comments on a judgment. My son’s special ring trilled on the phone sitting on the rail; we talked for a few minutes. After that conversation, a small smile lingered on my face; flickered, really, before the inevitable fade.
And then the wind rose. Soft clouds gathered. The heady smell of a gathering spring rain danced around me. The owl’s hoot came early; and the crow cawed; and a smattering of small birds glided across the horizon, over the river, and out of sight.
Sometimes I cannot reconcile the ease of this place with the damaged heart fluttering in my breast. I’m constantly admonished to be positive, to look forward, to let the past lie undisturbed. The joy of others pleases me, even if I do not necessarily want to stare at its bright contours. Make no mistake — I accept what comes to me, and I do not cling with bitter fury to any crumbled dreams. I like what lies at hand. But the jagged contours of my square self strain against the smoothness of the round hole in which I’ve been jammed; at least, at times. At times.
So I will watch the river flow alongside the park. I will walk on its edges and marvel at its steady current. I will journey to the ocean and gather my shawl around me, the shawl which I bought to take the place of one stolen from me in the city. The sound of the waves will bring the peace which often eludes me. I’ll carry the gentle ministrations of the mother sea back to the Delta, and abide as long as I can, while the wind dances, and the musky fragrance of the earth drifts through my open window each morning.
It’s the twelfth day of the fifty-first month of My Year Without Complaining. Life continues.
Dedicated to the loving and lovely Ruthie Becker.