I’ve been doing some contract work in Elk Grove. This endeavor takes me out of the house earlier than had become usual, and onto the loop while the morning traffic makes its way off the island.
I’ve seen folks and sights that I would otherwise never have beheld:
A woman walking her labs — one blonde, one chocolate — from behind the wobbly front wheel of her mountain bike on the opposite side of West Brannan Island Road, with the same line of trucks straining their idled motors behind her parade every day.
The morning crew of road-workers on the draw bridge at Walnut Grove, who hold their signs admonishing me to SLOW or STOP with an air of certainty that I will comply, and an easy, strong bearing to shoulders flexing beneath Flourescent-green vests.
A grizzly-bearded old hippie who nods his head at each slow-moving vehicle on the river road near Locke, his thin body wrapped in a tattered flannel shirt, and a cigarette dangling from worn lips.
A tiny Chinese lady wrapped in a pink silk shawl, picking her way along the river bank as I journey north to the Twin Cities Road cut-over.
A herd of goats nibbling at weeds behind a wire fence, guarded by thin, wary dogs who glare at me through the open window with angry eyes above their open jaws.
And oleanders: Miles and miles of glorious bushes, rising above the landscape, sending the heady fragrance of their sweet poison onto the wafting breezes of chilly Delta air.
I arrive at the office building just before nine, and sit for a few minutes listening to my motor cool. I marvel anew at the striking differences between where I now live and the places that I previously called home. Neither surpasses the other in my esteem; but this new road upon which I have set myself brings strange and wonderful vistas. My horizons have broadened. I’ve opened my eyes to the world on this unexpected and intriguing leg of my journey. I take my time, I don’t want to miss anything.
It’s the fourteenth day of the fifty-seventh month of My Year Without Complaining. Life continues.