The voices of travelers drift into the living room. I’ve put my nose into a novel, one translated from its original Norwegian. I still find myself drawn to crime fiction but I can’t abide clumsy writing, so I venture further away from American shores.
But this shore, the Pacific, holds me. Her voice calls when I come into the kitchen before the other occupants of the dorm awaken. I raise the window to let the air flow around me. I lean down and draw the deepest breath imaginable. A bird calls, the sharp notes rising over the eternal song of the sea.
I struggled with a bout of self-pity just before dawn. I wanted to cross the parking lot and climb to the eastern point. I had in mind to photograph sunrise over the small cove at the base of the park. The realization that my clumsy legs would not make the trip angered me. As I struggled from the bunk, other maladies asserted themselves into my day, sad reminders of my body’s vulnerability to careless treatment.
I hastened from the room, made my way to the kitchen and started coffee. I stood at the window and willed myself to hear the ocean’s voice. Letters which I wanted to write, accusations which I longed to hurl across the miles fell away. I needed only to heed the call of my Pacific to release those urges. That which occurred cannot be undone; that which has not yet happened can still be shaped. My feet can walk any path.
The first pungent pull of dark coffee rolled on my tongue. As the light rose in the long stretch of western sky, my spirit settled. The house remained silent around me but outside, the eternal reassurance of the mother sea called from her shores — I am here. I am here. Fear not. I am here.
It’s the fourth day of the fifty-seventh month of My Year Without Complaining. Life continues.