As I made my way from the park this morning, a graceful arc of blackbirds rose from the fields behind my house.  The sun shimmered on the dusty air, glinting from the edges of fallen branches.  I slowed for a semi at the Jackson Slough turn, then followed the stubbled fields to the highway.

Evening settled on those same fields as I came back.  The call of the migrating flocks cut across the mist.  On the road’s edge, I activated my flashers and rolled down the window, wishing that I had even my most basic of real cameras.  My phone would have to do.  I barely breathed, although if I had startled the wide expanse, their rise toward the dying light would have been astounding and beautiful.

We brought my house to the Delta one year ago next week.  I watched her descend into the park from the manager’s kiosk, eager and excited.  I spent the next few days unpacking, a rush to make the most of my short visit here.  I would not myself move for another six weeks.  But I think of November as the first and most critical of a spate of milestones which surged around me as last year drew to a close.

The holiday season begins soon.  Another Thanksgiving, another Christmas, the turn of another calendar as its pages fall.  As I closed my work day yesterday, satisfied with my efforts, I felt, for the first time, that I have settled.  I live here now.  I miss my friends.  I miss that little blue airplane bungalow in Brookside, and the rustle of leaves in the yard from the umbrella maple.  But the soar of the blackbirds above the river comforts me.  The echo of their evening song tells me that I have made it to my home.

It’s the thirty-first day of the fifty-eighth month of My Year Without Complaining.  Life continues.

“Blackbird” — Paul McCartney


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